Colne school “failing to meet standards”

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OFSTED inspectors have deemed that a Colne primary school which was classed as “satisfactory” two years ago has again failed to meet Government standards.

A team which visited Lord Street School over a two-day period in January and February said that while pupil behaviour was good, pupil achievement, quality of teaching and leadership were all said to require improvement.

Their report said improvements were required because:

• The quality of teaching in some lessons is not good enough. Teachers sometimes plan work that is too easy or too hard for pupils. There are too few opportunities for pupils to work by themselves and there is an overuse of worksheets.

• The marking of pupils’ work is not consistently good in all classes or subjects. As a result, not all pupils know how to improve their work.

• Teachers do not always make the best use of teaching assistants throughout the lesson.

• Teachers are not fully held to account by senior leaders for whether all pupils in their class are achieving as well as they should.

• Pupils’ progress in reading, writing and mathematics is not good enough as it is uneven, with good progress in some classes and not in others. Not enough pupils reach the higher levels and pupils do not have enough opportunities to use their mathematical skills in other subjects.

• The outcomes of plans to improve the progress of pupils are not always clear or measurable.

• Subject leaders are not making sufficient checks so as to improve the quality of teaching and pupil progress in their areas.

On the positive side, inspectors say the school is very caring and welcoming with a positive climate for learning.

Their report says head-teacher Gary McKeon, senior leaders and governors are fully committed to improving the school, teamwork and staff morale are strong, and there have been improvements in attendance and the quality of teaching since the last inspection in May, 2011.

Attainment at the end of Year 2 and Year 6 was said to be rising, while still below the national average.

The inspectors say in order to improve further, the school needs to:

• Improve the quality of teaching so that it is consistently good or better by making sure teachers use what they know about pupils’ abilities to plan work that is at the right level.

• Raise attainment and accelerate progress further by providing more opportunities for pupils to apply their mathematical skills in different ways.

• Strengthen leadership and management further by ensuring the intended outcomes of plans to improve the progress of all pupils are clear and measurable and ensuring senior staff and governors rigorously hole teachers to account for the progress of all pupils in their class.