December 9 2013 Latest news:
Thursday, October 24, 2013
An inspector has said the local authority has “failed to halt” a Suffolk school’s decline into “inadequacy”.
Her Majesty’s Inspector David Jones made his comments about Badwell Ash CEVA Primary School in an Ofsted report following a visit last month.
Judging the small school to be “inadequate” overall, he said it required “special measures” because it was failing to give pupils an acceptable standard of education “and those responsible for leading, managing or governing the school are not demonstrating the capacity to secure the necessary improvement”.
It comes after Badwell Ash Primary was judged to be “satisfactory” at its previous Ofsted visit in 2011.
Earlier this year governors announced they were going to consult on shutting the school, but closure was staved off by a successful parent-led campaign.
Then, in another twist in the tale, the governing body resigned and Suffolk County Council applied to the Secretary of State for permission to create an Interim Executive Board (IEB) to manage the school.
In the Ofsted report Mr Jones said: “The local authority has provided a range of support. However, it has not been able to secure the future of the school by establishing a partnership or federation with another school and it has failed to halt the school’s decline into inadequacy.”
He also said governance had been ineffective in securing better provision and outcomes. He added governors had been struggling to match the costs of running the school within the funding available and currently provision was only maintained by drawing on the school’s “dwindling reserves”.
The report also talked of the frequent changes in leadership and management, saying the governing body had been unable to appoint a full-time headteacher during the last three years.
Mr Jones said the IEB should: “Consult with parents and carers on proposals to provide alternative school places at high-performing local schools.”
A Suffolk County Council spokesman said the authority was working closely with the school to improve the quality of education.
He said: “The IEB has been appointed and already started work and we are supporting it, and the diocese, to plan what happens next. The priority is doing what is in the best interest of the children that attend the school.”
The Venerable Dr David Jenkins, Archdeacon of Sudbury, said the Diocesan Board of Education continued to work closely with the local authority in supporting Badwell Ash Primary School.
Some positives to come out of the Ofsted report were pupils’ behaviour is good and they feel safe at school.
No-one at the school was available for comment.
The full Ofsted report is available at www.ofsted.gov.uk