The new headteacher of Carlinghow Princess Royal Junior Infant and Nursery School has vowed to raise standards urgently after it was rated inadequate by Ofsted.
The school’s latest inspection was its first special measures monitoring visit since being rated inadequate at its previous full inspection in July 2018.
The report says leaders and managers are not taking effective action towards the removal of special measures, and that leaders should act urgently to ensure that safeguarding is effective in the school.
It also says leaders have not been held to account for their poor performance by governors or by the local authority. But Ofsted accepts that the trust in charge of the school has plans in place to tackle the priorities for improvement and are ready to deploy a range of specialists to support leaders and teachers in the school.
Inspectors also said that Kirklees Council’s statement of action, and the school’s short-term (seven week) action plan, written by the trust, are both fit for purpose.
Interim headteacher Andrew Midgley, who had only been in the post a week before the inspection, which took place in December, said: “As the report makes clear, I only joined the school as interim head one week before Ofsted carried out this monitoring visit.
“I am a very experienced headteacher working for The Greetland Multi Academy Trust who Carlinghow will be joining in March 2020. Clearly, there had not been an opportunity for me to make a major impact during those few days in post, though the HMI inspector noted the key changes that had been put into place and that the action plan, produced by the MAT, were fit for purpose.
“However, rapid improvements are now being made - not only in leadership and management but across the whole school - so that standards are raised urgently for children and families. We have prioritised safeguarding for our children and ensured the school is meeting the needs of our children.
“Although there is a lot of hard work ahead, the impact of these changes are already becoming evident and we are working well with the local authority with this. “As a Huddersfield born lad myself, it has been fantastic to have been made to feel welcome by this community. The children and families have responded well to the new changes and are working together to ensure our children are getting the best deal possible.
“Working with local people like Father Gordon, has given me a good insight into our community here. I am looking forward to the future for Carlinghow.
“Our aim is to secure the highest possible standards of care and education and we are confident that Ofsted will see the changes being implemented when they return again.”
The report found that leaders had arranged some training and coaching for teaching staff. However, this has not been intensive enough to secure the rapid improvements needed in teaching.
Additionally, leaders do not check thoroughly and frequently enough on the quality of education pupils receive, the report said.
The last inspection also highlighted that pupils’ basic English skills needed to improve. However, pupils’ written work seen during this inspection often showed that their weak spelling, grammar, punctuation and presentation skills remain. Far too often, teaching assistants make no contribution to pupils’ learning, the report said.
Disadvantaged pupils’ attendance rates or exclusion rates have not improved, but there was praise for the school revising their behaviour policy.
The report also said that pupils receive a poor offer from the school, for which the root cause is leaders’ failure to check thoroughly on the effectiveness of the school’s performance.
Leadership of the provision for disadvantaged pupils and pupils with SEND needs urgent improvement, the report said, and many pupils said they did not feel safe in the school.
The school may not appoint newly qualified teachers before the next monitoring inspection.