Lewes primary school ‘requires improvement’, say inspectors

The inspection took place last month
The inspection took place last month

A Lewes primary school has fallen short in its latest Ofsted report, with a ‘Requires Improvement’ rating.

That was the finding of inspectors at Wallands Community Primary School in all the following categories: Overall effectiveness; effectiveness of leadership and management; quality of teaching, learning and assessment; personal development, behaviour and welfare; outcomes for pupils; and early years provision.

Key findings from the inspection last month concluded that the quality of teaching across the school is variable. In some classes, work does not match the needs of all pupils, including the most able. Consequently, they are not fully engaged in learning.

The report said current pupils’ progress is inconsistent across the school. Pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND), disadvantaged pupils, boys and the most able achieve less well than their peers in some year groups.

Ofsted said leaders and governors do not evaluate the impact of their actions well enough. Consequently, pupils’ outcomes are too slow to improve.

The report found teaching and assessment in subjects other than English and mathematics are not yet fully developed. As a result, pupils do not make consistently good progress in a broad enough range of subjects.

The proportion of pupils who are absent from school and the proportion of pupils excluded from school are above the national average, said Ofsted.

Children in the early years are happy and confident. However, some teaching does not support their learning well enough. As a result, children do not make as much progress as they should.

Ofsted concluded many middle leaders are inexperienced. They need further support to develop their roles.

Among strengths at the school acknowledged in the report were that pupils with SEND who attend the language unit make strong progress. Adults know them well and ensure they receive effective support that is skilfully tailored to meet their individual needs.

Well-planned teaching in the Nursery ensures that children become independent and confident learners.

Pupils’ conduct as they move around the school and at break times is good. They are polite and respectful.

Rigorous safeguarding arrangements ensure that pupils are well looked after. The school effectively supports pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.

Governors have an accurate view of the school. They support school leaders well and hold them to account effectively for many aspects of the school.

Following publication of the report, Wallands Headteacher Debbie Collis said: “We were pleased that the inspectors recognised the significant improvements the school has made in the last two years. Having worked hard to ensure pupils receive excellent teaching we are glad that this was both seen and commented on.

“We are delighted that Wallands is reported as a safe school where students support each other and demonstrate the school values. The report rightly signposts where improvements need to be made and this is work which is already being addressed. We wish to thank the parents who came out and supported the school so well during the inspection.”