Absence hits school grade

A school s standards have been criticised by Ofsted inspectors who believe staff absences affected pupils achievement. Inspectors gave Ramsey Junior School s overall effectiveness a grade four, which is inadequate. The school has had three different head

A school's standards have been criticised by Ofsted inspectors who believe staff absences affected pupils' achievement.

Inspectors gave Ramsey Junior School's overall effectiveness a grade four, which is inadequate.

The school has had three different headteachers in the past year due to staff absences and changes - although the current head is acknowledged to be making inroads into the problems.

The report said: "The quality of education provided by Ramsey Junior School and its leadership has been disrupted by staff absences.

"Standards of attainment have dropped from above average to average levels over the last two years and pupils' overall achievement is inadequate."

The report also stated the "school has not improved enough since the last inspection" and "teaching is not good enough to raise achievement."

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Despite the criticism of the school, new headteacher Debra Hannaford was praised for "rapidly grasping what needs to be done to improve the school" and for introducing initiatives and procedures to raise pupils' achievement.

Mrs Hannaford, who joined the school as headteacher in September, told The Hunts Post: "We haven't been given the lowest grade possible, as that would have meant special measures, but we have been told to improve.

"I have put certain procedures in place to improve the school and I understand changes won't happen overnight but staff and governors are willing to work hard as we recognise the school's potential."

The school was also given a grade four for achievement and standards. The report said: "Pupils do not make enough progress throughout the school" and "more able pupils are not extended enough to attain the standards of which they are capable."

A grade four was also awarded for teaching and learning.

Inspectors found "the pace of too many lessons is slow and pupils do not cover as much as they need to if stand-ards are to rise. The quality of marking, target-setting and accurate assessments of the levels pupils achieve are too variable and often poor."

In terms of personal development and well-being, the school was graded level three, which is satisfactory, and was praised for its "good relationships" with children and with adults. It was also found that most pupils enjoyed their schooling.

There was also praise for the school's behaviour policy which rewards good behaviour and deters poor behaviour.

Ofsted also found the leadership of the headteacher and the improving team approach of the staff and pupils was putting the school in a position to improve.

In terms of improvements, inspectors asked the school to make better use of assessment to allow pupils to progress through the school, improve the quality of teaching and make sure the governors have a good view of how well the school is doing by checking pupils' progress more effectively.

INFORMATION: To view the full report visit www.ofsted.gov.uk

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