EARBY: Ofsted insprectors say Springfield Primary School must do better

Paper on an isolated cork notice board.
Paper on an isolated cork notice board.

EARBY Springfield Primary School has been told it has made “inadequate” progress since it was last visited by Ofsted inspectors.

But the headteacher, Dawn Liversidge, has vowed there will be a marked improvement by the time inspectors return, after what has been a difficult winter at the school.

The school became subject to “special measures” following an inspection in March, 2010, whereby schools are given intensive support from local authorities and frequent reappraisal from Ofsted until they are no longer deemed to be failing.

After visiting the school in January, inspector Sonya Williamson said pupils’ attainment at Earby Springfield remained below the national average and the pace of their progress had not accelerated consistently since the last monitoring inspection.

She said: “The interventions that have taken place to accelerate the progress of pupils who were identified as at risk of underachievement have not been successful except for a small number of pupils and there are groups of pupils who made no progress in the autumn term.

“There is too much variation in the quality of pupils’ learning and progress between year groups and subjects, and between different groups of pupils.”

The report acknowledged there had been staffing changes at the school since the last visit and some classes are being taught by supply teachers.

It also highlighted the fact the school was closed for a week at the start of the year because of flooding caused by burst pipes.

The inspector positively reported that more pupils are on track to attain the national expectation of Level 4 at the end of Year 6 than was the case at this time last year, and also pupils are progressing better in maths in several classes.

Ms Williamson also said the school’s target of reversing the downward trend in attendance had been met satisfactorily.

The partnership between staff and parents was also said to have progressed.

The inspector continued: “The pupils show empathetic understanding for the needs of others indicating their developing social and moral understanding and value the improvements to the safety of the school site.

“Several pupils were successful in a national poetry competition and others have contributed well to the school’s links with the local community.”

However, the report said efforts to improve the quality of teaching by raising teachers’ expectations of pupils and develop the provision in the Early Years Foundation stage had both been inadequate.

Mrs Liversidge said: ““We are of course disappointed the inspectors found some aspects of our improvement to be unsatisfactory.

“We are working very hard on the areas the inspectors highlighted, and are pleased many aspects of progress have been judged as satisfactory.

“With the help of the county council we will have a full permanent teaching team after half-term and we feel confident that inspectors will see a marked improvement next time.

“I must admit it has been a rather difficult winter for us, with some staff turnover, sickness of staff and children and of course the major flood which put us out of action for a few days.”