'Inadequate' Eastbourne primary school has another visit from Ofsted

A primary school in Eastbourne rated as ‘inadequate’ has had another Ofsted monitoring inspection.

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

Oakwood Primary Academy, in Magnolia Walk, had a monitoring inspection on February 23.

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According to the report, this was the second monitoring inspection since the school became subject to special measures following the inspection that took place in March 2020 which resulted in the school being rated as ‘inadequate’.

Oakwood Primary Academy (photo by Stephen Curtis)

The recent report says that the school will remains in special measures from this recent inspection, but says ‘leaders and those responsible for governance are taking effective action towards the removal of special measures’.

The school hasn’t yet had a full re-inspection from Ofsted which means the grading cannot change yet from the 2020 ‘inadequate’ result. Monitoring visits aren’t graded individually.

Ryan Laker, head of Oakwood, said, “This monitoring visit was successful and commented on the appropriateness of our school improvement plan and the rigour shown in 'taking effective action towards the removal of special measures'.

"Our monitoring visits highlight the improvements being made and we are pleased with the steps we are taking to remove the school from special measures.”

The Ofsted inspector said, “The school's improvement plan is fit for purpose.”

The report says, “Since the previous monitoring inspection in June 2021, there have been changes to the leadership of the school.

“Leaders and trustees have demonstrated an unwavering commitment to address the areas of weakness identified in the previous section 5 inspection. As well as dealing with the challenges posed by the pandemic, they have resolutely kept the strong momentum of improvement going

“Leaders have worked diligently to address weaknesses in the quality of education. They are determined to do the right thing by pupils and children in early years.

"For instance, leaders have completely redesigned the curriculum in most of the foundation subjects and in early years. They have made sure that the curriculum in subjects such as history, geography and art helps pupils and younger children build their knowledge over time.

“Leaders are beginning to deliver important training for subject leaders and teachers to develop curriculum expertise.

"The whole team is working purposefully, positively and with vigour. This is testament to leaders’ clear commitment to build a school that is successful in all areas of its work. Leaders have rigorously monitored improvements and subsequently adapted the plan of action to help steer their work effectively.”

On the subject of students with special needs and disabilities (SEND), the inspector said this ‘is still an area for more development’.

The report says, “During this inspection, some examples of effective practice were noted, particularly around how pupils’ pastoral and educational needs are identified and met. However, pupils with SEND do not learn as well in the foundation subjects as they do in English and mathematics. This is because leaders have not made sure that teachers understand how to adapt the curriculum effectively.

"Therefore, pupils with SEND do not learn as well as their peers in these subjects. Leaders need to address this area of improvement urgently.”

To view reports go to https://reports.ofsted.gov.uk/

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