Parents offer support for Downham Feoffees Primary School at Little Downham despite Ofsted putting it into special measures for being 'inadequate'

PUBLISHED: 17:00 30 March 2017 | UPDATED: 21:11 01 April 2017

Downham Feoffees Primary School has been put into special measures by Ofsted and the headteacher Camila Coulson has announced she is leaving at Easter, She is pictured front left with other members of the senior management team: Mr Simpson (back left who is no longer at the school), Ms Luu and Mr T Russell (deputy head).

Downham Feoffees Primary School has been put into special measures by Ofsted and the headteacher Camila Coulson has announced she is leaving at Easter, She is pictured front left with other members of the senior management team: Mr Simpson (back left who is no longer at the school), Ms Luu and Mr T Russell (deputy head).

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Parents of children at a village school put into special measures after being rated inadequate by Ofsted say they would recommend it to other families despite its failings.

Forty-seven parents completed a survey carried out in co-ordination with January’s ofsted inspection at Downham Feoffees School in Little Downham and all said they were happy with the school and would recommend it. In fact 43 strongly agreed they would recommend it, with the other four parents simply agreeing they would.

But despite parental support headteacher Camila Coulson has announced she is leaving the school this Easter and Cambridgshire County Council has promised an ‘experienced replacement’ will cover until a new permanent head is appointed.

The parent view survey results also showed that while Ofsted inspector Lesley Daniel felt pupils were making ‘slow progress’, the vast majority of parents felt their children were making good progress.

They also felt their children were well taught at the school with 38 per cent or 22 parents answering the questionaire strongly agreeing their child was well taught.

However four felt their children were not being taught well.

There are currently 209 children at the school which was found to be inadequate in all five areas looked at by Ofsted, when inspectors visited in January.

Ms Daniel criticised the effectiveness of leadership and management at the school and said in her report: “Leaders and governors have not done enough to sustain and improve pupils’ progress

and ensure their safety and welfare.

“Pupils’ progress in mathematics was identified for improvement in the previous inspection in 2013. Since then, standards have fallen further because leaders have failed until recently to implement changes to the national curriculum for primary schools.”

But again parents did not endorse her views about the school’s failure to ensure pupils’ safety and welfare with 34 out of the 47 stating their child feels safe at the school and a further 12 agreeing their children felt safe.

There was also support from parents for the management of school with 36 of the 47 stating they believed Downham Feoffees was ‘well led and managed’.

A spokesman for Cambridgeshire County Council said: “The headteacher will be leaving Downham Feoffees Primary School at Easter.

“In the meantime, parents and pupils can be reassured that we have secured an experienced headteacher to cover the period until a new permanent head has been appointed.

“The school is moving forward rapidly and has already addressed some of the weaknesses identified in the report.”

In a letter to parents, Karen Wilson, chairman of the school’s governors, said: “I appreciate that you will be disappointed by many of the inspection team’s judgements and frustrated that standards here have not been judged as good enough for your children.”

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