Helmingham Community Primary School gets ‘inadequate’ Ofsted for ‘ineffective teaching’

Helmingham Primary School has been rated as 'inadequate' by Ofsted. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Helmingham Primary School has been rated as 'inadequate' by Ofsted. Picture: GREGG BROWN

A Suffolk primary school has had its “ineffective teaching” come under fire from Ofsted inspectors after dropping from ‘good’ to ‘inadequate’ in its latest visit.

Helmingham Community Primary School was inspected over two days in November, where concerns over the quality of teaching and outcomes for pupils were raised.

The school, which has 63 pupils on its roll, was previously rated ‘good’ five years ago, but lead inspector John Mitcheson gave the school an ‘inadequate’ rating in his report published this week.

The report said that “leaders have not maintained the school’s standard of education since the last inspection,” and added that “outcomes have declined due to ineffective teaching and a lack of effective monitoring”.

It has also emerged in the report that some staff had been rewarded with pay increases despite the fact that outcomes for pupils had fallen as a result of poor procedures.

The report continued that “some ineffective teaching has been tolerated for too long” and said that “many pupils are capable of much more, but are not given sufficiently challenging work to do to ensure that they achieve well”.

Last year Suffolk County Council had issued a warning notice to governors over weaknesses in the school’s leadership and “wider concerns about its performance and safeguarding arrangements”.

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The warning required the school to submit an action plan for improvements this term, alongside measures to improve the school’s rating.

Inspectors tasked the school with sharpening its assessment to improve how it evaluates pupils’ performance, eradicating weak teaching and raising the teachers’ expectations of what students are capable of achieving.

Mr Mitcheson added in his report: “The governing body is aware of the school’s underperformance and the lack of urgency shown by leaders to improve it.

“It has welcomed the scrutiny from the local authority of the school’s leadership, including governance.”

A spokesman from the school was unavailable at the time of going to press, but it is understood that both the county council and the school itself are confident the necessary improvements can be made to the issues raised.