Monks Eleigh: Parents’ fears after damning Ofsted report

Monks Eleigh Primary School.

Monks Eleigh Primary School. - Credit: Archant

Parents have expressed concerns about the future of a small village primary school after Government inspectors deemed ‘special measures’ were required to bring it up to scratch.

Monks Eleigh Primary School near Boxford was judged “inadequate” after Ofsted inspectors visited the school in July.

In a report just published, lead inspector Cheryl Thompson rated the achievement of pupils, the quality of teaching, and leadership and management as inadequate. The only aspect to receive a “good” rating was the behaviour and safety of students.

Since September 2011, the school –which currently has just 30 pupils – has been part of a federation partnership with Boxford Primary School and the two establishments share an executive headteacher. Boxford, which has 243 pupils, received an “outstanding” Ofsted report last May.

The Monks Eleigh report noted that since the alliance, steps taken by leaders and managers to secure good teaching for all groups of pupils had “not been effective”. Teaching for students with special needs was deemed inadequate, as was literacy and numeracy skills learning for reception class students.

A parent, who asked not to be named, told the EADT: “We are really disappointed and worried by the Ofsted findings and given the small number of pupils who attend the school, we have grave fears for its future.”

According to executive headteacher Robert Giles, the collaboration between the Boxford and Monks Eleigh schools has recently been reviewed, and the Boxford governors have decided to bring the partnership to a close at the end of term.

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He said: “Following the two-year review and given the pressures and demands that are being placed on schools at the moment, the governors decided their preference was to focus on the individual school.

“We are of course devastated by the Ofsted report and senior management at Boxford are doing everything they can to support Monks Eleigh until Christmas, at which point governors of Monks Eleigh will be looking to appoint a new manager for the school. The long term future of the school will be determined by the governing body and the county council.”

A Suffolk County Council spokeswoman added: “The county council’s learning and improvement service will continue to work with and support the school to help them make the necessary improvements required by Ofsted.”