Ofsted puts 'inadequate' Gloucester school into special measures
St James Church of England School has been judged 'inadequate' and put into special measures by Ofsted.
The voluntary controlled junior school in Upton Street, Tredworth, was criticised for not stretching pupils enough and not giving studentrs enough time to do their work.
The Ofsted report did however say pupils are well cared for and happy and the new acting headteacher, Caroline Holcombe, was making progress in improving the school.
Mrs Holcombe, said: “Our team of dedicated staff and governors have already started planning and implementing new strategies for improving key areas of the curriculum, especially writing. We are prioritising the key issues that have been highlighted and are ready to take up the challenge.”
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The report said:
- Pupils’ achievement is inadequate because too many do not make the progress of which they are capable, especially in writing.
- There are gaps in achievement between different groups of pupils. For example, disabled pupils and those with special educational needs are not given the - specific extra help they need to make better progress.
- Many teachers do not stretch pupils enough, especially the more able, so their progress is too slow.
- Teachers do not give pupils enough time to write at length or to respond to their marking. They do not show pupils clearly enough the steps they need to take to produce their best work.
- Senior leaders have not tracked pupils’ progress with enough rigour to enable them to know how well pupils are doing. They have not checked the quality of teaching closely enough to help teachers to improve their work.
- Since the previous inspection pupils’ rates of progress have declined. Senior leaders have not done enough to deal with the areas identified for improvement at the last inspection.
- The leaders’ judgements of the school’s effectiveness are generous. Targets in improvement plans lack precision and their impact is not checked closely enough.
- Until recently governors did not have a clear enough view of the school’s performance to enable them to challenge the school’s leaders about why pupils are not making better progress.
Positive feedback included:
- Pupils’ behaviour is good.
- They are well mannered and concentrate hard in lessons.
- They say they are well cared for, feel safe and enjoy school.
- The new headteacher has gained the trust of staff and parents and carers and is beginning to take actions to raise attainment and improve teaching.
The school is now being supported by Gloucestershire County Council to implement a 'robust action plan' to continue to drive up standards.
Chair of Governors, Pat Gifford, said: “St James has built up an enviable reputation in recent years and whilst achievements have been recognised in the report we are naturally disappointed with this outcome.
“In partnership with the Local Authority and Diocese, a robust plan to achieve the necessary improvements is already being implemented. A new senior leadership team is in place, led by our very experienced acting headteacher, Mrs Caroline Holcombe, and governors have every confidence that we will regain our status as a good school within a very short time.”
Jane Lloyd-Davies, Head of Education Performance and Intervention at Gloucestershire County Council, said: “We will continue to give the school all the support necessary to enable them to tackle the areas identified as needing further improvement by Ofsted. A project team will be working closely with the acting headteacher, staff and governors to ensure their improvement plan is robust and is effective in driving up the rate of pupil progress.”