School stripped of outstanding rating

Swindon Advertiser: Eastrop School, in Highworth, has had a ‘disappointing’ Ofsted report Eastrop School, in Highworth, has had a ‘disappointing’ Ofsted report

A HIGHWORTH infant school which was stripped of its outstanding rating by Ofsted in a recent inspection is determined to turn things around.

Eastrop Infant School, which converted to academy status in 2012, has now been identified as needing improvements after an inspection report was published this week.

Despite some positive results, areas have been identified by the inspectorate as needing work before the school can be viewed as good. The report said progress was being made with provision of the pupil premium.

“In the 2013 Year 2 national tests, the attainment of pupil premium pupils was below that of other pupils in the school in reading and mathematics by over two terms,” it said.

“However, the school’s records and inspection evidence show that the gap is narrowing. Pupil premium funds are being used more effectively to provide one-to-one and small group activities and, consequently, pupils’ progress is now in line with, and in some cases exceeds, that of their classmates.”

Teaching standards were found to be inconsistent, with the governing body failing to properly regulate staff. This had a knock on effect on pupil behaviour.

“Teaching requires improvement because there is not enough good teaching to ensure that pupils make good progress and achieve well over time,” said the report.

“In the Early Years Foundation Stage, children are challenged to use their developing skills to good effect and are totally involved in their learning, both inside and outdoors.

“In some lessons pupils do not concentrate well and are less enthusiastic to learn. Where teaching is good, pupils remain engaged and make rapid gains.

“Pupils are friendly and welcoming to visitors and they say they love their school.

“Leaders and managers have not secured constant improvements since the previous inspection, and have not checked the performance of teachers rigorously enough.

“The headteacher has introduced a more rigorous approach to teacher’s performance management, linked closely to Teachers’ Standards. The proportion of good teaching is improving. Consequently, pupils’ progress is improving.”

Andy Rolfe, chair of governors at Eastrop Infant School, said: “The staff and governing body are pleased to see that Ofsted have acknowledged many of the key strengths of the school which underpin the ethos of Eastrop.

“As with all school Ofsted reports, as well as highlighting the strengths, there are identified areas for moving the school forward.

“While we would like to celebrate the strengths that were identified in the report, we are also extremely disappointed with the overall outcome.

“The staff and Governing body have already started to put together an action plan and remain fully committed and focused to moving the school forward while retaining the core elements which make Eastrop the wonderful school it is today.”

Sue Marshall, headteacher of Eastrop Infants School, said: “The school have concerns around the consistency of the new framework and are seeking further clarification with regard to some of the measures applied in establishing the judgement.

“As a school we remain committed to providing the foundations for future learning and developing the whole child. The school would like to say thank you to parents and the local community for their continued confidence.”

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