Banbury primary school labelled 'inadequate'

The latest Ofsted report for a Banbury primary school has found it to be inadequate or needing improvement in all five of the areas inspectors examined.
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St Johns Catholic Primary School on Avocet Way was given an inspection by government officials in September with the eight page report being released last week.

Three of the areas covered; quality of education, leadership and management an early years provision were all rated as inadequate.

The remaining two areas adjudged, behaviour and attitudes and personal development, both require improvement.

St John's Catholic School, Avocet Way, BanburySt John's Catholic School, Avocet Way, Banbury
St John's Catholic School, Avocet Way, Banbury

Among the comments inspectors made were: "Pupils attend school regularly and want to succeed but they do not do as well as they should because leaders’ and teachers’ expectations are too low.

"Older pupils are worried about making a poor start at secondary school because they have not learned enough. In key stage 1, pupils have not got into good routines.

"Too many pupils are not ready to learn because teachers allow them to misbehave. However, children in the early years have got into better habits."

It also criticised the school for its level of education, saying: "The quality of education that the school provides is poor. Leaders have prioritised the wrong things. Some changes they have made have not helped to move the school forward.

"Leaders have also been slow to implement some necessary improvements, for example changes to strengthen the curriculum.

"Although key stage 2 results improved in 2019, younger pupils do not acquire the reading knowledge and skills in phonics (letters and the sounds they represent) that they need. Too many pupils leave key stage 1 unable to read.

It added: "Support for pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) is poor. Leaders and governors have not focused enough on this aspect, including improving the contribution that teaching assistants make to pupils’ learning.

"Some teachers do not manage the behaviour of pupils with SEND well enough."

The last inspection the school had was in September 2014 in which it was rated 'Good'. The latest report makes note of changes the school has faced since that inspection.

"Since the last inspection, there have been significant changes to both the staff and the governing body, with a high proportion of staff leaving and joining the school. A new headteacher joined the school in September 2," it read.

Measures inspectors want to see implemented to improve the school include:

• Leaders and governors need to develop capacity in the leadership of the curriculum, including in the early years.

• Teachers need subject-specific training so that pupils can acquire firm foundations in the knowledge and skills they need to make a good start at secondary school.

• Leaders must place greater emphasis on improving early reading so that a greater proportion of pupils can apply their phonics knowledge accurately by the end of Year 1.

The school's safeguarding measures were, however, praised with inspectors noting that: "The arrangements for safeguarding are effective. During the last year, leaders made positive changes to different aspects of safeguarding.

"The local authority has visited the school to check on the progress of improvements. Leaders have put in place recommendations arising from these checks. They have also strengthened the way that they record safeguarding concerns.

"The designated leader and her deputy carefully oversee this process."

The school have been contacted for a response to the report's findings.

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