October 31 2014 Latest news:
Wednesday, March 26, 2014
An Ipswich school has been placed into special measures by Ofsted after an inspection report branded it ‘inadequate’.
Castle Hill Junior School on the Dryden Road educates 269 pupils between the ages of 7 and 11.
Formerly rated ‘satisfactory’, an inspection in February found that, “Pupils of all abilities and backgrounds make slow progress in reading, writing and mathematics because the quality of teaching is not good enough.”
The headteacher at Castle Hill, Daniel Jones, said the result was “disappointing” but the school leadership was “confident” it would improve.
The Ofsted report said many pupils entered the school at an “above average” starting point only to leave the school with “below average attainment”.
“Poor standards have not improved over time, and current rates of progress vary but are still too low. The proportions of pupils meeting and exceeding nationally expected progress are below average in all subjects and have been for some time.
“Reading, writing and mathematics are not being taught effectively.”
The behaviour of pupils was also rated ‘inadequate’ and the number of permanent exclusions has increased, the report said, with eight fixed-term exclusions so far this term.
“Their (pupils) lack of engagement in lessons frequently leads to disrupted learning. Behaviour is often better around the school, for example in corridors, than in lessons.”
The report also noted that incidents involving disabled pupils and those with special educational needs has increased, while the number of racist incidents so far this year nearly matches that for the whole of last year.
However it added, “these incidents have had very little impact on pupils’ safety because the school has acted promptly to address them.”
Some strengths of the school were noted, the headteacher was said to have identified the right areas for improving the school “and has clear plans to address them”.
Pupils in the specialist support class are taught and looked after well and pupils are kept safe in the school, the report said.
“The targets set for teachers are now more rigorously linked to pupils’ progress, and are in line with the national ‘teachers’ standards’.”
Responding to the report, Mr Jones said: “The school has accepted the report and is putting in place actions to improve this situation. Disappointing as it is to be judged inadequate, the school’s governors and leadership are confident that these actions will bring about the required improvement.
“We recognised early last summer that the school was experiencing difficulties in bringing about change as quickly as we believe is necessary and although the governors recognise the school has much work to do, it is already moving decisively in the right direction to address each of the development areas in the report.”