Whitchurch Juniors head says school 'absolutely determined' to improve after inadequate Ofsted inspection

Reporter:

Barrie White

The headteacher of Whitchurch Junior School is insisting staff are ‘absolutely determined’ to improve after it was rated ‘inadequate’ by Ofsted.

The school, in Station Road, received the rating after inspectors visited the school on November 14-15 and published on December 21 and it marks a downturn in fortunes after it was rated as ‘good’ in 2013.

Diana West, head at the school, admitted she and her staff were disappointed by the rating but felt there were positives to be taken by the work they do at the school.

“We are extremely disappointed by the inspection outcome,” she said.

“Only one week prior to the inspection, feedback from parents was the most positive that we have had in recent years with 100 per cent of parents indicating that they feel ‘my child is well taught at this school’ and 100 per cent of parents stating that they would recommend the school to another parent.

“Recent external reviews of the school have also felt the school to be in a stronger position than the inspection reflects.

“Nevertheless, the inspection team have identified that the school requires significant improvement and we have taken this on board.

“We are absolutely determined to ensure that we quickly return to our Ofsted status as a ‘good’ school and have already begun our fight back to address the priorities for improvement.”

In the Ofsted report, inspectors ruled the effectiveness of leadership and management; quality of teaching, learning and assessment; and outcomes for pupils were all ‘inadequate’ and that personal development, behaviour and welfare ‘requires improvement’ and they rated the school as ‘inadequate’ overall.

Government inspectors will now return at regular intervals to check on the progress the school is making and that improvements are happening at the pace required.

Although inspectors raised a number of concerns, their report does highlight a number of strengths.

They found that children behave well, and report improvements in: the standards of pupils’ writing; the attendance of disadvantaged pupils; the development of artistic learning within the curriculum; and in pupils’ behaviour.

They also found the school has made several key appointments designed to address standards in core subjects. They say that “new leaders are experienced, enthusiastic and understand key issues”.

Karen Bradshaw, director of children’s services with Shropshire Council, added: “It is clear that there are issues that need to be addressed.

“However, the headteacher, staff and governors have already begun work with the support of advisers from the council to address these priorities. We are all committed to making the necessary improvements to ensure the best possible provision for all pupils at the school.”

Email:

barrie.white@nwn.co.uk

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