Norfolk primary school’s recovery scheme is criticised by Ofsted

Ellingham Primary School has failed to make effective changes according to a new report.

Ellingham Primary School has failed to make effective changes according to a new report. - Credit: Getty Images

A south Norfolk primary school which required improvement in four key areas following a visit by Ofsted earlier this year, has failed to make effective changes according to a new report.

Ellingham Primary School, which is in a federation with Woodton Primary, received its first monitoring inspection since the school was judged in May.

In the latest report Ofsted inspectors found that the school's action plan 'is not useful as a tool' to drive forward improvements and that senior leaders and governors are not taking effective action.

The report, published by Linda Killman, Her Majesty's Inspector (HMI), said: 'The planned actions are not linked closely enough to pupils' achievement. They are not sufficiently explicit to explain to staff and governors what it is that they must do to make the necessary improvements to raise pupils' achievement. It is unclear who is responsible (and therefore accountable) for leading each of the planned actions and when and how checks will be made to measure progress towards them. School improvement work has begun but the approach is not coordinated through a robust cohesive plan of action.'

However the report also notes that pupils' behaviour has improved because of a new behavior policy and promising improvements have been made in mathematics.

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Charlotte Whyte, school headteacher, said: 'We were disappointed that HMI felt our action plan was not focused enough, having received input from an external consultant sent to us by Norfolk County Council. We have already been addressing the areas where HMI would like us to improve and remain committed to ensuring the best outcomes for all our pupils.

'It is important to highlight that, although the action plan was not considered to be a useful tool to drive the schools forward, it was recognised that we are beginning to achieve the goals set. The headteacher and governors have been instrumental in setting up procedures to measure the progress of individual pupils and groups.'

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The report said the input received from an external consultant and the local authority to devise a robust action plan was 'ineffective' and the process has 'slowed the school down in moving forward.'

A spokesman from Norfolk County Council said: 'We are of course disappointed inspectors found the school's action plan to be ineffective. We appointed a consultant to put together the plan on behalf of the school and governors but were concerned that some areas still needed addressing and raised this with the school.

'We're pleased that inspectors have recognised that the school has already benefitted from our external reviews of governance and pupil premium funding and we are confident in the ability of leaders and governors to secure rapid and sustainable improvement in the future.'

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