Head of Watton infant school promises parents improvements are being made after ‘inadequate’ Ofsted rating

The sign at the Westfield Infant and Nursery School at Watton.Photo: Denise BradleyCopy: file picFor

The sign at the Westfield Infant and Nursery School at Watton.Photo: Denise BradleyCopy: file picFor: file picArchant Norfolk pics © 2007(01603) 772434 - Credit: Archant © 2007

Serious concerns over pupils safeguarding and a lack of proper checks on staff are among the problems found at an infant school by inspectors.

Westfield Infant School and Nursery in Watton was rated as 'inadequate' during an Ofsted inspection earlier this year – a serious slump from its previous 'good' rating.

Among concerns raised in the report, published this month, were improper checks being carried out to determine if teachers were suitable to work with children, disorganised early years provision and inadequate arrangements to safeguard children.

The report criticised headteacher Tim Aviss' plans to improve the school, saying his 'evaluation of the school's work and the action plan lack suitable measure for success' and the priorities and timescales for improvement were 'unclear'.

It also noted confusion among senior staff, who 'are not clear about what is expected of them', did not know enough about pupil achievement and were afraid to raise their concern with the head and governing body.

Despite its 'suitably broad and balanced curriculum', inspectors felt teaching and assessment in the school were 'not sufficiently developed to make sure that pupils achieve well across the school or across subjects'.

Records of the school's use of the pupil premium – grants from central government to support the most disadvantaged pupils – and sports funding were described as 'incomplete'.

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However, the report did praise the school's provision of English lessons for pupils who do not speak English as a first language and the good behaviour of its pupils.

There was praise too for the acting deputy head, who had helped to raise pupils' writing standards.

Headteacher Tim Aviss said: 'Following our Ofsted inspection last May, we wrote to parents telling them that although we were disappointed in Ofsted's overall judgement of our school, our attention and focus was on looking forward and making swift improvements so every child at our school has the opportunity to be the best they can be. Since then, we have addressed a number of areas including our safeguarding arrangements.

'Despite the overall judgement, I am pleased inspectors praised our pupils' 'good' behaviour, the standard of their writing and the help we provide to children with English as an additional language. These are very solid foundations on which we can make further improvements and I know with the support of our parents we can be 'good' again.'

Inspectors recommended external reviews of the school's governance and of its spending of the pupil premium.