Dudley school that 'was not well supported' given 'inadequate' rating by Ofsted

A Dudley school rocked by Covid and a lack of support has been branded inadequate by Ofsted after they criticised leaders and the quality of education there.

Sledmere Primary School
Sledmere Primary School

The inspection on March 29 at Sledmere Primary School found that “pupils do not get the help and support they need to be successful learners.”

It also said early years provision was inadequate, but personal development was rated as good and behaviour of pupils was said to require improvement.

The school joined the Learning Link Multi-Academy Trust in November 2017 but recently transferred to the Perry Hall Multi-Academy Trust (PHMAT) on June 1 – after the report was published.

The school was inspected between March 29 and 30 and inspectors urged the school to “ensure staff receive the training they need to identify and support all pupils effectively”.

Lorraine Lord, lead inspector for Ofsted, said: “Teachers do not use assessment well to identify accurate next steps for pupils. This means teaching is not well matched to what pupils can already do and pupils’ attitudes to learning decline.

“Leaders should ensure that teachers use the information they have about pupils to carefully plan what comes next so that pupils are suitably challenged and engage positively in their learning and achieve well.

“Provision for most pupils with SEND (special educational needs and disabilities) and disadvantaged pupils does not meet their needs. This means that pupils do not get the help and support they need to be successful learners.”

Furthermore, the report found that some pupils, particularly those that are disadvantaged “do not attend school regularly enough”.

Ms Lord continued: “This means gaps emerge in their learning and they struggle to develop positive attitudes to learning. Leaders should take further steps to work with pupils and their families to instil the importance of attending school regularly so that attendance improves for these pupils.”

But the report did praise the behaviour of the pupils and safeguarding by staff.

It said: “Students are happy and feel safe at school. They are courteous and respectful. For example, pupils hold doors open for visitors, staff and pupils. Relationships in school are positive. When bullying happens, leaders deal with it according to the school policy.”

The new trust said it was unable to comment on the report from Ofsted but will aim to improve the school in the future.

Amarjit Cheema OBE, chief executive officer, said: “Since Sledmere Primary transferred to PHMAT on June 1, we have been working closely with the school and their local community to improve the educational experiences for all children.”

The report does note that the school was not well supported by the previous trust – alongside problems experienced during Covid.

The report said: “The school has experienced a difficult time during the past few years, including, but not solely related to, the pandemic. Until recently, the school has not been well supported by the trust.

“This has made it difficult for leaders to make the improvements necessary to ensure a good quality of education for all pupils.

“This was the first routine inspection the school received since the Covid-19 pandemic began. Inspectors discussed the impact of the pandemic with leaders and have taken that into account in their evaluation of the school.

“Leaders and governors have worked hard to manage the high staff turnover and maintain staff morale through the turbulence of recent years. They are considerate and supportive of staff workload and well-being.”

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