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Ashford Hill Primary School to become academy after 'inadequate' Ofsted rating

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Ashford Hill Primary School is to become an academy after being rated as ‘Inadequate’ following an Ofsted inspection.

The school was the subject of a two day inspection in November, and in January the report was published – criticising the school over its safeguarding of pupils, saying they were “at risk”.

Inspectors accused the staff of not understanding “how to keep pupils safe”, continuing: “Systems and processes for recording concerns about pupils, and actions taken, are poor.

The school was criticised over its safeguarding of pupils
The school was criticised over its safeguarding of pupils

“Staff do not always recognise indicators that could suggest a pupil needs help.”

The report said staff didn’t routinely share concerns about pupils with leaders, and when concerns were shared, leaders didn’t always identify patterns because they didn’t have a clear oversight of each pupil.

In order to improve, it said the staff needed to be more alert to pupils’ welfare concerns and how these were recorded and escalated, and it called on the school’s governors to challenge leaders more robustly, recording their actions and monitoring these for impact.

It also said curriculum planning wasn’t “thought out well enough”, and that leaders didn’t “identify precisely enough the knowledge and skills pupils should learn and in what order”, stifling pupils’ progress.

While the phonics programme was improved after interim headteacher Sharon Pole started at the school in September 2021, “developments in mathematics are not as far forward as leaders would have liked”.

Since the report was published, the school said it has taken “significant steps” to remedy the situation.

Ms Pole said: “While we’re understandably disappointed by the outcome of our most recent Ofsted inspection, we’re determined to take rapid action to address the challenges that have been raised.

“Working alongside the local authority, we have already taken significant steps in this direction, investing in more staff training as well as improved systems and procedures.

“We continue to keep parents closely informed about this ongoing work and remain committed to doing all we can to turn around the current rating.”

Standard practice dictates that when a maintained school – schools which are funded and controlled by the local education authority – is judged to be ‘inadequate’ by Ofsted, it’s served an academy order by the Department for Education (DfE).

Becoming an academy means responsibility for the school and its educational performance moves to an independent academy trust and oversight is from the DfE.

The DfE is currently in the process of finding a suitable academy sponsor for the school.

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