Shropshire Star

Telford primary school 'has dealt swiftly' with Ofsted concerns

A Telford primary school's leaders say they have acted "swiftly" after Ofsted inspectors said they were not doing enough to safeguard children.

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Doseley Road. Photo: Google

Ofsted inspectors have rated Dawley Church of England Primary Academy 'inadequate', even though they say staff care for the children who love attending the school.

The inspectors, Jonathan Leonard and Eve Morris, visited the school for 230 pupils aged three to 11 in March this year for the first time since the Covid pandemic began.

"Leaders have not placed enough emphasis on ensuring robust systems are in place to safeguard children," they say in their report issued this week.

"This places pupils at risk of potential harm."

They rated the school in Doseley Road North, Dawley, as inadequate overall, despite finding the quality of education, behaviour, and personal development to be good.

But on the issue of leadership and management it was found to be 'inadequate' and this pushed it into that bracket overall. The school had been rated as "requires improvement" at its previous inspection in April 2019.

The report said: "Sometimes, when pupils raise a concern about their safety and well-being, staff do not deal with matters quickly enough.

"They are too slow to seek advice about the concerns they receive. This potentially puts pupils at risk of serious harm.

"As a result, leaders cannot guarantee that they have done all they can to ensure pupils’ safety and welfare. Leaders should review the school’s safeguarding procedures and record-keeping systems to ensure that pupils are kept as safe as possible."

On the positive side the inspectors found that the academy sponsor-led mixed gender school is happy and "pupils learn well".

They said: "Relationships between pupils and staff are strong. Adults know pupils very well. They care about them. This helps pupils to feel safe and secure.

"However, leaders have not placed enough emphasis on ensuring robust systems are in place to safeguard children. This places pupils at risk of potential harm.

"Pupils enjoy attending school. They make a purposeful start to the school day and quickly settle into morning routines. They display the ‘Dawley Mindset’ – sticking at tasks and not giving up. This helps to raise pupils’ aspirations. They maintain positive attitudes to learning and take an active part in lessons."

The inspectors add that the school’s distinct Christian ethos is promoted through core values of love, hope, peace and trust.

They add that pupils live up to teachers' expectations to behave well.

"They take care of each other and have strong friendships. Pupils say bullying is extremely rare. Occasionally, when friends fall out, adults sort matters out quickly. This maintains the happy spirit of the school," says the report.

A spokesman for the school said: "Dawley Church of England Primary Academy was inspected on March 15th/16th 2022 and the inspection report clearly reflects the impact of the improvements evidenced at the academy and the hard work of staff to ensure the children receive a good quality of education.

"References in the report include children in early years have a good start to their education where children are enthusiastic and confident learners; a curriculum which is ambitious and well planned; pupil’s personal development is embodied in the academy’s values and extra curriculum activities enrich the learning experiences.

"Concerns were raised however, about processes, procedures and recording in relation to safeguarding during the inspection which were swiftly addressed.

"Systems, processes and recording were reviewed and amended immediately to address the concerns raised."

The spokesperson added: "To quality assure and confirm this two external safeguarding reviews, including the Local Authority, were commissioned both of which judge safeguarding to be effective.

"As Ofsted reported, our children feel safe and are happy in school, knowing who to go to if they have any worries supported by a high level of care shown by all staff. This will continue with the support of our parents and staff continuing to ensure we offer the best education for the children in our care."

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