Ipswich: School given first inspection since damning Ofsted report


- Credit: Archant

A TOWN primary school has received its first monitoring inspection from Ofsted since the school was found to have “serious weaknesses” at the end of last year.

Following a visit from inspectors in November 2012, Sidegate Primary School was given an “inadequate” rating.

Speaking to The Star when the report was published, headteacher Wendy James pledged to make improvements and “focus on securing, sustaining and building upon these improvements”.

Four inspectors visited the 698-pupil school in Sidegate Lane in late November and in his report, lead inspector Peter Lacey-Hastings deemed both the achievement of pupils and quality of teaching “inadequate,” with pupil behaviour and leadership and management also requiring improvement.

The school had previously been rated as “satisfactory” following a report published in 2010.

Since the damning inspection report was released, staff at the school have been working alongside Suffolk County Council, school governors and Ofsted inspectors to address the issues raised and four teachers have left the school and been replaced.

Following the first monitoring inspection, Ofsted inspector Ian Middleton noted in his report that: “The school’s improvement plan adequately covers the key areas of weakness identified at the November inspection.”

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The November inspection found achievements in mathematics to be a “major issue” at the school, with the recent report highlighting how the school is addressing the problem.

Mr Middleton’s report states: “Local authority mathematics advisers are working with the school to improve teachers’ planning and classroom practice, to help raise standards and moderate standards of pupils’ work between teachers.

“In addition, booster classes and additional opportunities for pupils and their parents to work together on mathematical challenges are supporting improvement.”

The new inspection found the school is making adequate progress but more still needs to be done to address teaching standards and pupils’ achievements.

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