New head helping 'inadequate' Wolverhampton school improve standards - Ofsted

A Wolverhampton primary school rated inadequate by education chiefs is now taking “effective action” to avoid going into special measures, a recent monitoring review has found.

St Teresa's Catholic Primary Academy in Malins Road, Parkfields, Wolverhampton. Photo: Google
St Teresa's Catholic Primary Academy in Malins Road, Parkfields, Wolverhampton. Photo: Google

St Teresa’s Catholic Primary Academy in Parkfields underwent its last full Ofsted inspection in March last year, with the latest assessment being conducted remotely in January.

The school in Malins Road, which caters for more than 190 pupils aged five to 11, forms part of the St Francis and St Clare Catholic Multi Academy Company.

In a letter to acting principal Stacy McHale, who took up the post last August following the March visit, Ofsted inspector Wayne Simner said: “Having considered all the evidence and taking into account the impact of Covid-19 on the school, I am of the opinion that at this time leaders and those responsible for governance are taking effective action to provide education in the current circumstances.

“The school was only open to vulnerable pupils and the children of key workers at the time of the inspection. Just over three quarters of pupils were learning remotely and the remainder were attending school.

“Since taking up your post, you have wasted no time in reviewing and redesigning the school’s curriculum. Your aim is to create a curriculum that builds knowledge, skills and vocabulary over time.

“Initially, you focused on a specific group of subjects, including English and mathematics, and have planned for how pupils will make progress in these subjects.

“Actions are in place to look at other subjects over the course of the next few terms. Covid-19 has slowed down some of your plans, but you have made realistic adjustments to these,” added the letter.

“Leaders and staff have transferred the usual curriculum to a remote education offer using an online learning tool. Pupils in school, supported by staff, access the same learning as pupils who are learning at home.

“Staff deliver remote learning through a combination of live lessons, pre-recorded lessons and other means. Leaders and teachers rightly pride themselves on the efforts they are making to engage pupils in remote learning.

“In many subjects, the remote learning is in line with what pupils would normally be learning in school,” said the report.

“Almost all vulnerable pupils are attending school. Leaders and staff work closely with families and external agencies if this is not the case. Staff make regular telephone calls to all pupils and their families who are working remotely.

“Focused interventions for pupils with special educational needs (SEND) continue in school, but it is proving to be more challenging to organise these for pupils who are learning at home.

“Most external agencies are not currently coming into school. However, they are providing staff with training and information, so that staff can in turn help pupils who require tailored support,” it added.

During the remote review, Mr Simner and fellow inspector Jonathan Leonard held meetings with both the acting and assistant principals, curriculum leaders, SEND coordinator, directors, staff and pupils.

Mrs McHale said she was very proud of the hard work children, parents and staff were all putting in.

“Our staff cannot wait to welcome pupils who have been completing remote education at home back to school every day from March 8.

“St Teresa’s will have further inspections – approximately one per term now – as it plans to continually improve all areas of school provision,” she added.

“I am looking forward to sharing more and more positive inspection reports with parents as our academy goes from strength to strength.”

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