Ofsted back head’s action to improve West Row School

West Row Community Primary School

Picture Mark Westley
West Row Community Primary School Picture Mark Westley

Ofsted inspectors have downgraded West Row Primary School from ‘good’ to ‘requires improvement’ but admit changes in place were already making a difference.

The inspectors say improvements since the last inspection in January 2013 ‘have been too slow and standards have declined’ and say the quality of teaching and learning assessment is inconsistent. They also criticise some teachers for not sufficiently challenging more able pupils.

But their report also accepts the new head Karys Matthams and her deputy only joined the school in September 2015.

The report says: “The head teacher and deputy head teacher have an accurate view of the school’s current position. They know the strengths and weaknesses of the school.

“Although they have taken the right actions to bring about improvement, these have not always had as much impact as they should.”

The inspectors also felt new leadership in maths and English had driven improvements but go on to say that in other subjects, some teachers did not plan work that challenges the most able pupils.

The report also praises the governors for strengthening their effectiveness and for commissioning a review by the local authority to help them work more effectively.

The school is also praised for effective safeguarding, helping disadvantaged pupils and for its early years provision, which inspectors rated ‘good’.

Mrs Matthams said: “The judgement, although disappointing, reflects the school’s current self-evaluation.

“We are very pleased that the inspectors noted many positive aspects to our lovely school, including that the children behave well and are polite; that stronger teaching is leading to improved rates of progress, particularly in reading and writing, and that our Early Years provision is good and children thrive within it.

“We have already begun work on the recommendations in the report and every member of staff and every governor is committed to working hard on continuing the improvement of West Row School in order to make it the excellent school the community of West Row deserve.”

West Row Pre-School, which is on the same site, has been upgraded to ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted inspectors.