Inspectors slam school for putting children at an ‘unacceptable’ level of risk

Healey Junior and Infant School, Batley
Healey Junior and Infant School, Batley

A primary school placed its children at an “unacceptable” level of risk by failing to check whether staff were suitable to work there.

Education watchdog Ofsted said Healey Junior, Infant and Nursery School in Batley was inadequate after a two-day visit in September.

In a report published last month, inspectors said: “Leaders and governors have not ensured that all staff are suitable to work in the school.

“Crucially, they have not checked whether teachers are subject to a prohibition order which would prevent them from working in a school. This means leaders and governors have placed children at risk.”

Inspectors said the quality of teaching, learning and assessment, and outcome for pupils had required improvement for “too long”. And they said Kirklees Council had failed to challenge leaders’ “overgenerous” views of the school’s effectiveness.

Their report read: “This school requires special measures because it is failing to give its pupils an acceptable standard of education.”

The inspectors found that attendance was below the national average with “too many pupils persistently absent”. They also said that leaders did not make effective use of funding to improve the learning and progress of disadvantaged children and that teachers did not always give feedback which enabled pupils to boost their skills, knowledge and understanding.

Responding to the report, head teacher Richard Dodd said: “The leadership team and governors acknowledge that this outcome is extremely disappointing but it’s important to stress that we had already identified many of the issues raised by Ofsted and were taking steps to address them.

“In some cases, the benefits are already clear, for example in our work to engage the children with their learning and to promote an enjoyment of reading.

“There are other areas where change has been made but it was too early for Ofsted to see the impact, for example with our new curriculum.

“We are committed to providing the highest possible standards and are working extremely hard to secure other improvements as quickly as possible.

“The report highlights a concern about us not carrying out checks to ensure all staff are suitable to work in the school. I can confirm that this issue related to one check which was rectified as soon as the issue came to light.

“The safeguarding of pupils is of paramount importance and we have not at any stage employed a member of staff who was unsuitable to work in school.”