Primary school near Shrewsbury is put into special measures
A village primary school near Shrewsbury has been placed in special measures by government inspectors who criticised its ‘deeply inadequate teaching and learning’.
Dorrington CofE Primary School was visited by Ofsted inspectors in March who found that the school was failing in all areas.
Ann Pritchard, lead inspector for Ofsted, said pupils made very little or no progress in reading, writing and mathematics.
“In many cases, pupils are going backwards in their learning,” she said.
“The curriculum is inadequate. Provision in the early years is inadequate and there is no leadership. Apart from the acting executive headteacher, there are no other leaders in the school. Currently, there is only one permanent teacher.
“There have been no appraisal systems to hold teachers to account. It is unclear how additional funding for special educational needs and the pupil premium funding is used. The sport premium funding is not used appropriately.”
But Mrs Pritchard did praise acting executive head Kerrie Lewis, who took over the role last November for ‘providing exceptional support to the school’. Mrs Lewis is also headteacher of Condover Primary School.
The arrangement for Mrs Lewis to act as executive headteacher was agreed by the Diocese of Hereford Education Service and the governing bodies of Condover and Dorrington schools.
But Mrs Pritchard said: “Leadership and management remains inadequate. Previously leaders took no effective action to address the rapid decline in the school’s performance. There is no special educational needs co-ordinator and no early years leader.
“The curriculum is inadequate and does not meet pupil’s needs. The correct national curriculum was introduced in December 2016, two years after it should have been. Pupils are not well prepared for the next stages of their education or life in modern Britain. Many pupils who achieved the required standard in the phonics screening check in year one, are now unable to sound out simple words and show little understanding of basic letter sounds.”
Problems at the school, which has 53 pupils aged between four and 11, had been highlighted by Shropshire Council which undertook a review at the school in September 2016. Serious concerns were raised about the school’s performance and the council served the governors with a pre-warning notice in October.
The only area the school was found not to be inadequate was in the personal development and welfare of the children which ‘required improvement’.
Mrs Lewis said: “It has been a privilege to support Dorrington School in such challenging circumstances and to have the opportunity to work with super young people. I look forward to improving all aspects of the school.”
Karen Bradshaw, Shropshire Council’s director of children’s services, said: “It is clear that there are issues that need to be addressed at Dorrington, and the council, the Dorrington school leaders, and the Diocese are committed to providing an education of the highest quality at Dorrington School. We therefore welcome the improvements that have already been made at the school.”
The school had previously been inspected in 2012 and was found to be good.