Eastbourne primary school drops from 'good' to 'requires improvements' in Ofsted rating

A primary school in Eastbourne has been rated as ‘requires improvements’ in a recent Ofsted inspection.

Schools are judged on five categories – the quality of education, behaviour and attitudes, personal development, leadership and management, and early years provision.

Bourne Primary School, in Melbourne Road, was inspected in December last year and the report was published in February.

Sign up to our daily SussexWorld Today newsletter

The school was previously graded as 'good' in 2015 but is now 'requires improvement' with four out of five categories graded as 'requires improvement' – the personal development category was graded as 'good'.

Bourne Primary School (photo from Google Maps)

The report says, “Pupils are proud to attend Bourne Primary School. They say that it is a ‘happy and diverse’ school.

“Pupils feel safe and well supported. They know that staff will help them if they have any worries.”

According to the report, bullying happens 'only very occasionally' and ‘pupils agree that staff deal with bullying well'.

In terms of behaviour the report says, “Some pupils struggle to regulate their emotions and behaviour. At times, their behaviour disrupts the learning for other pupils. Leaders should ensure that pupils with social, emotional and mental health needs are supported well and are helped to regulate their behaviour successfully.”

The school is praised for making improvements to reading schemes which means younger pupils are learning to read 'more quickly than in the past'.

However, the report says, “In some other subjects, learning is not as effective because the curriculum is not well planned and implemented.”

According to the report, maths and English have been 'wisely' prioritised and art is 'well planned' too, but 'this is not the case in all subjects'.

The report says, “In many subjects, the curriculum is not organised coherently from the early years through to Year 6.

“Published schemes are often used as a helpful overall structure. However, in some subjects, such as history and physical education, leaders have not adapted these well for the pupils at Bourne.

“Teachers do not have a precise enough understanding of what pupils already know and can do. Teaching activities are not always effective in helping pupils to remember important knowledge and skills. Consequently, over time, pupils are not building their knowledge securely.”

It also says pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) 'do not always get the support they need'.

The report says, “Leaders have accurately recognised that pupils with SEND do not consistently get the support that they need. However, while their improvement plans are starting to make a difference, there is still much to do.”

On the subject of staff, the report says, “The headteacher is determined that pupils will achieve well.

“Recently appointed senior leaders are starting to get to grips with their role. Staff know there is much work to do.”

Headteacher Cassandra Palmer said the school ‘has made significant steps forward in the six months since the inspection’.

Recent school highlights included a Baton of Hope Relay with 14 other schools, something that was inspired by the jubilee and the upcoming Commonwealth Games.

One of the school’s pupils came second in MP Caroline Ansell’s short story competition. Mrs Palmer said, “This was an amazing achievement as there were entries from all across Eastbourne and Caroline's visit was incredibly inspirational for all our pupils.”

Read more education news: