School near Worksop told by Ofsted it must improve after criticism from parents

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Damning comments by parents have contributed to a disappointing verdict from Ofsted on a school in Walesby.

Walesby Church Of England Primary School, which has 111 pupils, aged four to 11, on its books, was given an overall rating of ‘Requires Improvement’ after an inspection by the education watchdog.

This followed the revelation in the inspectors’ report that “a significant proportion of parents do not view the school positively”.

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"They raise concerns about communication and the provision for pupils with SEND (special needs and disabilities),” said the report. “As a result, the school community is not as cohesive as it could be.”

Inspectors from the education watchdog, Ofsted, have given Walesby Church Of England Primary School a 'Requires Improvement' rating.Inspectors from the education watchdog, Ofsted, have given Walesby Church Of England Primary School a 'Requires Improvement' rating.
Inspectors from the education watchdog, Ofsted, have given Walesby Church Of England Primary School a 'Requires Improvement' rating.

Ofsted accepted that “some parents speak positively” about Walesby Primary, “praising its ‘small school’ ethos and the care given to pupils”.

But inspectors urged leaders to “ensure that parental views are sought, explored and, where appropriate, acted upon”.

They said the school must make certain that SEND pupils are given support that is “specific” and “measurable”. At the moment, it was “too variable in quality” and “inconsistent”.

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Walesby was also given a ‘Requires Improvement’ rating in four of the report’s five individual categories, headed quality of education, behaviour and attitudes, leadership and management and early-years provision. It was rated ‘Good’ in the field of personal development.

This was Walesby’s first full inspection since 2014 when it was rated ‘Good’ overall. Ofsted disclosed that the “the school has faced significant staffing challenges over recent years”.

"Despite these challenges, interim leaders have continued to drive the school forward,” said the report. “They have brought about many and much-needed changes in a relatively short period of time. However, as leaders recognise, there is more to do."

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Among the areas that were being tackled by leaders was “poor attendance”. The inspectors said: “Despite recent green shoots of improvement, absence remains high. Too many pupils miss too much of their education.”

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Ofsted also felt that the teaching of some subjects needed to improve. This was because “the curriculum does not make clear the precise things that pupils are expected to know and remember”.

On the plus side, the inspectors found plenty of reasons to praise the Walesby school. For instance, pupils enjoyed their time there, behaved well and were well-mannered.

Bullying was rare and safeguarding was effective, with governors and staff helping to keep pupils safe in the community.

Pupils understood the school’s ‘RICH’ values of respect, integrity, courage and honesty, worked hard in lessons and made good use of extra-curricular activities, including music tuition, sporting activities, cooking and French.

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They also learned about “a wide range of cultures, religions and beliefs” and understood “the concept of equality”.

The Ofsted inspectors stressed too that “children in the early years (ages three to five) are happy, confident and well looked after”.

Acting head teacher Jo Marshall said: “We are pleased the Ofsted report recognises that our pupils enjoy their time at school and understand our 'RICH' values, which help to prepare them for life in the modern world.

“The report acknowledges the amount of work we have done and that we recognise there is further work to do on some areas.

“We will be working with staff, students and parents to address these areas so that the school continues to develop. We remain dedicated to providing the best for our pupils.”

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