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Ofsted critical of Walsall school

By Carl Jackson | Walsall | Education | Published:

A primary school plunged into special measures after being criticised by Government inspectors has failed to make progress six months on – while poor behaviour has been described as a 'new concern'.

Edgar Stammers

Edgar Stammers Primary School, which has more than 300 pupils on the books, was given the basement rating of Inadequate in January by Ofsted.

Inspectors returned to the school in Harden Road, Walsall, in June to monitor the situation but declared teaching in some areas was still poor whilst advising the school not to recruit newly qualified teachers.

In the latest report inspector Marilyn Mottram said: "The headteacher has used performance management systems effectively to address some of the weakest teaching.

"However, inadequate teaching is still evident and too much teaching requires improvement.

"This is not to say that staff are not working hard; however, teaching is not yet good enough to ensure that pupils achieve well.

"Feedback notes following leaders’ observations of lessons show that teachers receive precise messages about how to improve their teaching."

Click here to read the full report

The report stated since the last inspection in November there have been 'significant' changes in staffing including the appointment of new headteacher Tricia Bunn, while three teachers including the special needs co-ordinator has left.

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It was noted supply teachers have been drafted in to cover shortages while the special needs co-ordinator was replaced in April .

However Ms Mottram said it had had a knock-on effect on pupils, saying: "Established staff are working hard to bring about the necessary improvements.

"However, the instability in staffing disrupts and slows pupils’ learning and staff absence means that leaders are frequently required to cover teaching in classrooms.

"As a result, they are unable to keep to the deadlines set in their plans to support improvements in the quality of teaching across the school.

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"This hinders the pace of improvement. Senior leaders are currently teaching in Years 4 and 5. As a result, too much responsibility for driving improvement falls on the shoulders of the headteacher."

The inspector also said addressing pupil behaviour had become a priority after a decline from the last visit, stating: "Behaviour, in classes and in corridors around the academy, has declined since the previous inspection.

"Not all staff implement the academy’s behaviour policy consistently or rigorously enough. There are examples of excessive use of ‘red cards’, to register poor behaviour, in some classes.

"There is no indication that such action leads to improved behaviour."

Ms Mottram concluded that while the school's statement of action and improvements plans were 'fit for purpose' they were not been implemented well enough and 'strongly recommended' newly qualified teachers were not appointed.

Carl Jackson

By Carl Jackson
Reporter - @cjackson_star

Senior reporter for Staffordshire and Walsall.

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