Ludlow nursery is rated as inadequate by Ofsted inspectors

Staff at a Ludlow nursery school have been criticised by government inspectors who rated the school as inadequate.

Ofsted inspectors visited Ludlow Infant and Nursery School Academy in November and found that the leaders and governors did not have a 'clear view of the school's strengths'.

They added that roles, responsibilities and lines of accountability were unclear and rigorous systems for monitoring and evaluating the school's performance, including the quality of teachers, were not in place and as a result, self-evaluation was 'overgenerous'.

In a report published this week, the inspectors said: "Leaders do not have robust plans for making improvements in the school. The school’s development planning does not provide the strategic direction to improve the school.

Report in full:

"Pupils have insufficient opportunities to develop their writing skills across a wide range of subjects. Very few pupils reach the higher standards in reading, writing and mathematics. The impact of additional funding, such as the pupil premium, is not accurately evaluated."

They also found that teachers do not have high enough expectations of what pupils and children can achieve. When teaching fails to interest them or when it does not meet their needs, pupils lose focus. Pupils and children are not encouraged sufficiently to become independent learners, they add.

The report continues: "The curriculum is not sufficiently broad and balanced. It does not meet the needs of pupils and children or engage them enough in learning. The provision and leadership in early years is inadequate. The provision is especially weak in the Reception classes."

However, the inspectors did identify a number of strengths. They said that behaviour in the school was good and in 2018, more pupils reached the expected standard in phonics that did nationally. They also made good progress in reading and mathematics.

The inspectors added: "The school is a calm and orderly place. Pupils are safe and well cared for. Parents value the close-knit, harmonious ethos."

Andrew Teale, the Interim Diocesan Director of Education and Chief Executive Officer of the Bishop Anthony Educational Trust, said: "Although we are naturally very disappointed with the overall grading the school has received, we have written to our parents and guardians to reassure them that many of the issues raised were already being addressed.

"It is clear that parents value the close knit ethos, are highly supportive – valuing the good communication – and that they value the harmonious atmosphere that pervades the school.

"I would like to reassure people that while everyone involved with the school is in no doubt about how much work needs to be done to move it to where it needs to be, this is a challenge that none of us will shy away from and that with improved leadership it is one we will being doing all we can to meet."

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