South Gloucestershire school requires special measures

Gazette Series: Jacqui Daffon had been the head teacher at the school for the last nine years and the report is a judgement of her leadership. Jacqui Daffon had been the head teacher at the school for the last nine years and the report is a judgement of her leadership.

A SOUTH Gloucestershire primary school has received a damning Ofsted report following a recent inspection.

Severn Beach Primary School has been ranked “inadequate” in three out of four mandatory categories of the report, sinking to the bottom of the Ofsted scale.

The Ableton Lane school which caters for 100 pupils now requires special measures for “failing to give its pupils an acceptable standard of education”.

Her Majesty’s chief inspector Phillip Minns visited the school on January 15 and 16.

Mr Minns said those responsible for leading, managing and governing the school did not demonstrate the capacity to secure the necessary improvement in the school.

The head teacher was heavily criticised for being “too slow to improve teaching and, as a result, standards are now lower than they were at the time of the previous inspection”.

The Gazette can reveal that an acting head teacher from a neighbouring school has been drafted to run the school.

Paul Overton, head teacher of St. Peter’s Primary School in Pilning, is now acting head teacher at Severn Beach. The first day of the inspection was his first day in post.

Jacqui Daffon had been the head teacher at the school for the last nine years and the report is a judgement of her leadership.

She was absent due to illness when the government watchdogs arrived.

The quality of teaching at the school was also scrutinised. The inspection found that teaching is inadequate because pupils did not reach the levels they are capable of.

Mr Minns said the school’s poor test results are the result of inadequate teaching over time and teachers’ expectations of pupils were too low, especially for the more capable.

The behaviour of pupils also requires improvement attendance levels also need to improve to be in line with the national average.

The assessment found that where teaching was good, pupils were well behaved and showed good levels of concentration.

However, behaviour in some other lessons was not good enough.

Mr Minns said: “Although pupils usually have positive attitudes to learning, when teaching is not demanding enough, some pupils lose concentration and become restless.

“The school’s self-evaluation is inaccurate and overgenerous and does not correctly identify the school’s weaknesses. Not enough attention is given to checking the impact of teaching on pupils’ learning.”

Pilning and Severn Beach Councillor Robert Griffin said: “Like so many in our community, I’m really disappointed by Ofsted’s ruling. The primary phase of a child’s education is so important and so I’m pleased that the necessary changes have been made.

“I’m hearing really good things about the fresh start that the new acting head teacher has ushered in and so we all need to get behind him and his team in the task of providing the best possible education for our village’s children.”

A South Gloucestershire Council spokesman said: "The council is, of course, disappointed with the outcome of the inspection. However, the judgement reflects our own concerns which culminated in the council issuing a warning notice to the school in January. As noted in the inspection report, the local authority is already working with governors to bring about the improvements needed and has arranged for a headteacher of a neighbouring primary school to lead the school during the absence of the headteacher."

Severn Beach Primary School declined to comment when contacted by the Gazette.

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