Brierfield primary school in ‘special measures’: Ofsted challenge

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STAFF and governors at Brierfield’s Walter Street Primary School are challenging Ofsted’s view after inspectors put it in the “special measures” category.

The school received the grading after a November inspection, this despite 97% of parents saying they are happy with the school and their children enjoy going there.

A lack of academic progress at the school was cited as one of the main reasons for the judgement.

The school is now making an official representation to Ofsted, supported by Lancashire County Council, to dispute some of the findings of the report. After the last Ofsted inspection undertaken in June, 2009, Walter Street was rated as “good”.

Despite the overall grading, the report states the school has many positive aspects too, including pupils’ personal development, their politeness and good behaviour and a happy atmosphere where children feel safe and everyone’s needs are well met.

Headteacher Sarah Watson said: “Naturally we’re disappointed by the report from Ofsted, and we are concerned the judgement seems to have been based on partial or inaccurate information.

“To give one example; the Government uses the percentage of pupils making good progress between Year 2 and Year 6 as a measure of success.

“National averages this summer were 82% in maths and 83% in English, but Walter Street children exceeded both of these, with 91% in maths and 95% in English. Pupils’ achievement is judged both on how well they do in tests and on the progress they make while they’re at school.

“We’ve worked hard to ensure our children make good progress and do well in tests, and this is shown by rising test results for all age groups over the past three years.

“I hope we can resolve these issues.”