Sutton CofE primary school drops from ‘good’ to ‘requires improvements’ in six areas including teaching, outcomes for pupils and early years provision

'Requires improvement' was the verdict of Ofsted in all six key areas when they carried out a two da

'Requires improvement' was the verdict of Ofsted in all six key areas when they carried out a two day inspection in March of Sutton CofE primary school. - Credit: Archant

A village primary school has been has been told it requires improvement in all six categories inspected by Ofsted.

Sutton Church of England primary school faced criticism from Ofsted for leadership, management, quality of teaching, pupil behaviour, outcomes for pupils and early years' provision.

In it last full inspection by Ofsted in March 2014 it was rated as good although a shorter inspection a year ago the inspector noted that "based on the evidence gathered during this short inspection, I have identified some priorities for improvement which I advise the school to address.

"In light of these priorities, the school's next inspection will be a full section 5 inspection."

That took place on March 26-27 this year when inspectors ruled it as requiring improvement but conceded that teaching and learning for disadvantaged pupils have strengthened under new head Emily Gore-Rowe who took over last September.

The latest inspector report says there has been a considerable number of staffing changes since the last inspection.

"This turbulence has created a legacy of inconsistent expectations among teachers and support staff leading to variable outcomes," says the report. "Some pupils are not making the progress of which they are capable."

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A new leadership team is focused on improvements but Ofsted says the pace of change has not been fast enough.

"There is much to do and the majority of parents and carers would not recommend this school to others," says Ofsted.

The previous head was blamed for making changes to reception and Year 1 before the new head's arrival but the justification for these changes "was not communicated in a sufficiently clear and timely manner and they have consequently caused considerable concern among parents.

"Further staff changes within these classes have increased instability and contributed to unevenness in the quality of teaching".

There was encouragement though from Ofsted in such areas as governance - described as a 'developing strength" - and safeguarding was summarised as "effective".

But teaching is not good, says Ofsted, and although recent actions are beginning to have an impact "they have secured consistency in practice across the school".

Pupils' learning is "sometimes laboured, and time is not well used" says Ofsted and pupils are blamed for not listening carefully to what they are told.

Teachers' planning is not sufficiently precise "and some staff lack sufficient knowledge of how to teach phonics and do not correct pupils' mistakes".

Behaviour, too, requires improvement says Ofsted who found that parents have mixed views about the school's approach.

"A large minority are concerned about behaviour and bullying," says the report and Ofsted said that although persistent non-attendance has reduced considerable overall attendance "remains below the national average".

Ofsted says that going forward leadership and management needs strengthening and teachers must apply the same high standards for learning and behaviour in all year groups and across all subjects.