Slow progress, a decline in standards and outdated staff training lead to Feoffees Primary School in Little Downham being put in special measures

Slow progress, a decline in standards and outdated staff training lead to Downham Feoffees Primary S

Slow progress, a decline in standards and outdated staff training lead to Downham Feoffees Primary School being put in special measures - Credit: Archant

Slow progress, a decline in standards and outdated staff training are three of the reasons why Feoffees Primary School, Little Downham, is being put in special measures.

The school in Main Street, was rated ‘inadequate’ in all five criteria by Ofsted in January – despite achieving a ‘good’ rating at its previous inspection in May 2013.

The Ofsted report states that “governors and school leaders have not ensured that arrangements to safeguard pupils are effective, systems for following up concerns about pupils are not robust and staff training is not up to date.”

Since the last inspection, in May 2013, the senior leadership team has changed – four new teachers joined the school in September 2016.

Lead inspector Lesley Daniel also states that “leaders and governors have not prevented a decline in standards. They have failed to sustain the good progress pupils were making at the last inspection; progress is now too slow.

“They have not implemented the necessary changes to the primary curriculum. Leaders’ evaluation of the school is too generous.

“Governors have accepted information provided by senior leaders on how well pupils are doing and have not held them to account with sufficient rigour.

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“Pupils do not make enough progress in reading and writing in Key Stage 1. In 2016, no pupils achieved greater depth in writing or mathematics.

“The most able pupils, including those who are disadvantaged, are not making sufficient progress because senior leaders and teachers have not ensured that they are challenged to make all the progress they should.

“Children’s starting points in the early years are not assessed effectively and so their individual needs are not met.

“School leaders could not provide reliable information on the progress current pupils are making.

“Teachers do not understand the new assessment system introduced by senior leaders and so do not assess pupils’ progress accurately.

The report does however say “leaders and governors have correctly identified some of the areas that need to improve.”

It adds that “pupils come to school regularly and most enjoy learning. They are happy at school and feel safe. Most parents agree.”

The report also states a number of ways in which the school could improve:

• Improving record-keeping and paperwork for safeguarding and child protection and ensuring that concerns are followed up rigorously

• Ensuring that all new staff follow an induction programme that includes safeguarding training

• Undertaking a regular and accurate evaluation of the strengths and weaknesses of the school and using this information to create a clear plan for improvement

• Ensuring that governors provide greater challenge for leaders and hold them to account more robustly.

• Ensuring that teachers accurately identify what pupils currently know and what they need to learn

• Have a good understanding of mathematical concepts before they teach them

• Understand how to use the school’s system of assessment

• Ensure the pupil premium grant is spent effectively to ensure that disadvantaged pupils make rapid progress

• Ensure the most able pupils, including the most able disadvantaged pupils, are sufficiently stretched and challenged

The Ofsted inspection was carried out on January 19 and 20. The school has 209 pupils aged between four and 11,