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From good to inadequate: Primary school ‘leaving pupils at risk’

By Jordan Reynolds | Walsall | Education | Published:

A primary school has gone from being rated good to inadequate as it is failing to safeguard pupils, according to Ofsted.

Yew Tree Primary School. Photo: Google

Inspectors visited Yew Tree Primary School in Birchfield Way, Walsall, which comes under Sandwell Council, and found “pupils were at risk of potential harm”.

The school – which has more than 600 pupils – has now been rated as requires improvement in two categories and inadequate in three.

At the last full inspection in December 2014 the school was rated good.

Headteacher Rachel Hawkins said measures had been taken to put things right.

It comes after Claire Jones, lead inspector, said after her inspection: “Leaders do not respond well enough to concerns raised by pupils about their safety.

"They do not consistently make referrals to external agencies to secure pupils’ welfare. This places pupils at risk of harm.

“Inspectors found examples where pupils had raised serious concerns about their safety at home. The governing body has failed in its statutory duties to safeguard pupils.

"Governors have not made the necessary checks to ensure that leaders are implementing agreed safeguarding policies and keeping pupils safe.”

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Attendance at the school has been below the national average for the last three years, particularly for boys and disadvantaged pupils.

Leaders' actions to maintain the good quality of teaching seen at the last inspection have not been successful, she added.

And Ms Jones says the school uses too much of the pupil premium funding for whole-school developments, rather than directing it at the pupils it is intended.

But, the inspectors did say most parents are happy with the school and that pupils are "polite, friendly and courteous".

Rachel Hawkins, headteacher, said: “Our safeguarding recording systems have already been improved and we have worked with the Sandwell safeguarding team who have given our new systems their full endorsement.

“We are confident we can make the rest of the changes needed quickly and would like to reassure parents and carers we will be working tirelessly to ensure this happens.”

Jordan Reynolds

By Jordan Reynolds
Reporter - @jreynolds_star

Senior reporter at the Express & Star.

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