Barrowford School is rated ‘inadequate’ by Ofsted

Barrowford Primary School who have received an 'inadequate' Ofsted report.
Barrowford Primary School who have received an 'inadequate' Ofsted report.
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Barrowford School has been rated as “inadequate” overall by Ofsted in a damning report, the lowest possible grading a school can receive.

The Rushton Street primary school was inspected in July when a team of Ofsted inspectors found two of the main five areas assessed, the teaching quality and early years provision, were both “inadequate”.

Barrowford Primary School who have received an 'inadequate' Ofsted report.

Barrowford Primary School who have received an 'inadequate' Ofsted report.

The three other main categories of leadership and management, behaviour and safety of pupils and achievement of pupils, were both rated as “requires improvement”.

The school, which has 380 pupils on its roll, was rated as “good” at its previous inspection in September 2012.

Earlier in the year, the school hit the headlines after headteacher Rachel Tomlinson was criticised for introducing an alternative approach to discipline.

Lead inspector Gill Jones described teaching as “inadequate” adding: “Staff expectations of what pupils can achieve are not high enough.

“The teaching of reading is ineffective. In some classes the weaker readers read aloud too infrequently to an adult.

“Children in reception are not prepared for the curriculum in Year 1.

“Governors do not follow up the issues they identify for improvement in enough depth.

“The headteacher’s leadership has emphasised developing pupils’ emotional and social well-being more than the attainment of high standards.

“Behaviour requires improvement. In lessons, pupils do not always concentrate on what they are doing and are too easily distracted.

“More able pupils do not reach the higher levels in the national tests and assessments for seven to 11-year-olds.”

An anonymous parent who contacted Leader Times Newspapers said: “It’s just horrifying what’s going on there.

“There’s no structure. It’s just basics. Even things like hygiene, children are not encouraged to wash their hands before eating.

“I think the headteacher has tried to create an ethos but has completely lost sight of education which is what the children are there for.

“How do you get a school to go from a two rating (good) to a four (inadequate)? I just feel it affects the community so much.

“I was talking to a parent the other day who felt her child was two years behind educationally. She was literally in tears. These are our children and our future.”

Another said: “Today we all received emails with their Ofsted reports which confirms it’s ridiculous and all about publicity and not their students.

“A lot of us parents have objected to how the school has been run lately but it’s fallen on deaf ears.

“The headteacher has appeared on ‘This Morning’ and other television programmes. I think people should be made fully aware of how rubbish the school is run.”

The inspection team did highlight several strengths. The report stated: “Standards are improving and are getting closer to those attained nationally by seven and 11-year-olds as a result of some well-targeted small group teaching, particularly of disadvantaged pupils.

“The school is inclusive. Pupils who have special educational needs are supported well by staff and make good progress.

“Pupils are taught to be tolerant of differences and caring towards those who need help.

“Pupils are polite and friendly to visitors. Older pupils willingly take on responsibilities to represent the views of pupils to improve their school.

“Pupils say they are confident to tell staff about how they feel at school because staff listen to any concerns and act upon them.”

In a joint email to parents accompanying the report, Mrs Tomlinson and Chairman of Governors Doug Metcalfe said leadership at the school had been bolstered and those changes were bringing positive effects.

It said: “We were of course very disappointed with the outcome and understand that many of you will have concerns on receipt of this report.

“Obviously we have had knowledge of this outcome for a number of weeks and very much feel that we have made great progress in readiness for a re-inspection whenever that happens.

“Throughout the summer, we have worked very hard as a staff, both in our teams and on full staff training days, to bring about continued positive change and we know that you will see this reflected in your children and their learning.

“We have already received lots of very positive feedback about many of the changes we have made and about the fantastic start the children have made to the year, including the more strategic approach to home learning and how we communicate this.

“We have also, as planned, spent a significant amount of money on refurbishing the whole EYFS to Year 3 building and other rooms in school; again, we have had enormous amounts of positive feedback from parents.

“We feel very positive and excited about the future of our school and as always we shall continue to greatly value the support of our committed and appreciative parents and community.

“We want our parents to feel confident to contact us about any concerns the report raises and we are more than happy to meet with anyone to discuss these to explain what we are doing to continue to make our school even better – as has always been our aim.”