Standards at a Norfolk primary school have declined from “outstanding” to “requiring further improvement” in the space of less than four years.

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Inspectors from schools watchdog Ofsted visited Brockdish Primary School in December and deemed improvements were needed in a number of areas, including maths standards which were deemed to not be as high as reading and writing at the end of year two or six, while progress was inconsistent across the school and weaker for younger pupils than for those in years three to six.

The report also found that the school’s headteacher Mandy Reeve lacked adequate professional support, while senior leaders did not focus sufficiently, when checking the school’s effectiveness, on the progress pupils made.

However, in the previous inspection report, conducted by Godfrey Bancroft in March 2010, the school’s leadership was praised, along with the progress of younger pupils.

He said: “Pupils’ excellent progress is the result of some excellent teaching and highly effective leadership and management. Children in the Early Years Foundation Stage get off to a flying start and make excellent progress.”

The latest inspection, by George Logan, also reflected on issues relating to the appointment of a headteacher which were yet to be resolved by the school governors, while the challenge provided by the governors to the school leaders was described as “not sufficiently rigorous.”

However, the report also highlighted a number of strengths, particularly that pupils were enthusiastic about school and had a positive attitude towards learning.

Pupils were safe and mostly behaved well, while standards were generally above average at the end of years two and six and the spiritual, cultural, moral and social development of the children was another strength.

The report highlighted improving the quality of teaching as the main change needed to address the problems, while work also needed to be done to strengthen achievement across the school, along with improvements to the leadership, management and governance of the school.

The Rev Nigel Tuffnell, a governor at the school, said: “The school is happy with the strengths the report recognises and we were fully aware of the areas for development. We are working very hard to implement the changes to swiftly improve our school, with the support of parents, governors, staff and our community.”

6 comments

  • Absolutely right Luciop.....we as tax payers are paying a fortune to this idiot organisation whole tiny credibility previously held has been shredded totally in the last yr. Whatever the goings on at Stalham and now the previously OUTSTANDING Brockdish Ofsted inspectors just seem to be following an agenda of get Norfolk and contradicting previous inspection findings of only 8 months ago.....this is just ridiculous.

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    Sportswagon

    Tuesday, February 4, 2014

  • How can anyone, having watched Gove's antics today and last week take any school inspection report seriously ever again. Especially one like this which expects school governors, who are most likely not education professionals and who are not required to have even a GCSE in wood work between them- to be telling graduate experienced professionals what to do? It is madness, sheer madness and it is time parents and teachers and anyone with an interest in how education is run in England to say Gove must Go and to stop this political football with schools and education, to stop the creation of utterly random minimum standards and requirements then used as sticks to beat schools, the moving goal posts etc so no one knows just whether education is better or worse than it has been at any point in the last 60 years.He is doing children no good at all-Just ask this basic question-why, if inspections are so vital, if league tables are so vital, if a longer school day is essential, are your children being supervised for one minute by people who have no teaching qualification at all, when teaching is an all graduate plus post graduate entry profession.

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    Daisy Roots

    Monday, February 3, 2014

  • Daisy, I agree with the majority of your comment, it is time to stop playing politics with our children's education but I would clarify one thing. School Governors do not tell the head and his staff what to do. They work with them to set the overall vision and strategic direction for the school but how they achieve that is down to them utilising their professional judgement and expertise. Governors then monitor progress by analysing the available data, visiting the school etc and if the school is not achieving what has been agreed they provide challenge to establish why it's not working. You do not need to be an education professional to ask pertinent questions, but as I have commented on another forum all governors should make use of the governor training available to them. An outside perspective can be really useful in helping the school team to assess whether an approach is working or whether they need to try something else. I am fortunate to sit on a GB which comprises a group of people with fantastic skills and expertise from a variety of backgrounds including education but also business. We are not afraid to ask difficult questions if required and are not easily fobbed off. I appreciate this is not necessarily the case in all governing bodies but there are still a large number of very committed people across the county who do a very good effective job and I'm sure their schools value their input and support. As for the situation at Stalham, can there really have been such a spectacular demise in such a short space of time? It certainly raises questions about the consistency of Ofsted Inspectors.

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    Row71

    Monday, February 3, 2014

  • I agree with Ofsted report here, Brockdish used to be a great school when Peter Lacey-Hastings was in charge...parents have removed their children for personal reasons since new head took over, myself included. Until you have seen for yourself what happened to this former outstanding school, i don't see how you can blame Ofsted. There are spot on with this report, i just hope for the pupils that still attend that it gets better from here.

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    jazzie

    Thursday, February 6, 2014

  • It's seriously about time that the great GB public woke up to Gove and Ofsted's cruel political meddling with our children.......now he wants Sir M Wilshaw removed. Gove is not interested in the state sector, has no understanding of education and is using Ofsted to do his dirty academisation work. Schools will be left in a terrible mess ....this will be his legacy (he slipped up in an interview yesterday and used the phrase, "my legacy"....how arrogant and conceited can u get).

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    Sportswagon

    Tuesday, February 4, 2014

  • Two days in a row. Same story different school. Just like Stalham - how can Brockdish go from very good to sub-standard in the space of one inspection period. It's Ofsted and not the schools at fault here. What are they checking, why aren't they validating their own inspection performance first before going public . If an organisation is consistently contradicting itself in the space of 12 months then that is surely where the problem lies. I think NCC are well within their rights to tell Ofsted to stay away from Norfolk until they get their own house in order - just refuse them access on any school site

    Report this comment

    Lucioperca

    Tuesday, February 4, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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