Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

IN SPECIAL MEASURES; Watchdog Says School Is Failing Pupils

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

IN SPECIAL MEASURES; Watchdog Says School Is Failing Pupils

Article excerpt

Byline: JOANNA DESIRA

PUPILS at a Teesside junior school are not receiving an adequate education, Government inspectors have ruled.

Ravensworth Junior School, in Normanby, has been placed in special measures by schools watchdog Ofsted.

A report has raised concerns about declining levels of attainment, the capacity of school bosses to secure improvement, and weaknesses in pupils' basic skills.

Redcar and Cleveland Council is now working with the school to address the issues raised.

Inspector Derek Neil's report outlined 12 areas for improvement.

It states the school requires special measures as "it is failing to give its pupils an acceptable standard of education and the persons responsible for leading, managing or governing the school are not demonstrating the capacity to secure the necessary improvement".

Mr Neil says that headteacher Kevin Skelton took sickness leave of absence in November, at the start of the inspection. Liz Henry is acting headteacher.

The Ofsted report describes how standards of attainment in English and maths have been in decline in recent years.

The most able pupils are underachieving, often in writing, because teaching has not challenged or inspired them enough.

Pupils' weaknesses in basic skills, especially in spelling and knowledge of multiplication tables, have not been dealt with effectively, which has held them back.

Mr Neil added that many of the staff have lost confidence in the leadership and management of the school.

He said: "Although the local authority has intervened this term to help the school, the improvements that have been introduced are too recent to have made an impact.

"Self-evaluation and planning for improvement are very weak. "The school''s assessments of teaching and of other aspects of its work are over-generous.

"The school development plan does not identify clear or appropriate priorities.

"Governance is inadequate; the governing body has not ensured that the necessary improvements have been carried out. …

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