Niton Primary School, the latest Isle of Wight school placed in special measures. Picture by Laura Holme.
INSPECTORS have found teachers and governors at an Isle of Wight primary school have failed to tackle 'serious shortcomings’ and placed it in special measures.
Niton Primary School has become the latest Isle of Wight school to fail its Ofsted inspection according to a report published today (Thursday), which judged the school to be inadequate overall.
Inspectors found pupil achievement, teaching, leadership and management were inadequate, however the pupil behaviour and safety was judged to be good.
Following an inspection in July, inspectors said the headteacher, managers and governing body had failed to tackle 'serious shortcomings' at the school.
Inspectors found children did not make enough progress and were not given opportunities to learn on their own or be creative, and teachers were not held to account for pupils' lack of progress.
However, they found children felt safe and were well behaved and those in the reception class and Years 1 and 2 did well thanks to good teaching and an exciting learning environment.
Inspectors praised recently appointed consultant headteacher Martin Lee — who works three days a week, while headteacher Ingrid Ramsdale-Capper is on sick leave — for bringing about rapid changes to help governors understand their role and develop systems for improving teaching.
The report stated: "This school requires special measures because 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."
The school will receive regular monitoring by Ofsted inspectors to help it improve.
A statement issued by the school said governors had identified a number of problems highlighted by Ofsted prior to the inspection and had already taken steps to rectify them.
It said it had reorganised the governing body and leadership team, adopted a new method for teaching maths and introduced new systems for tracking pupils' progress, it said.
"Ofsted was made aware of these improvements during the inspection but judged them too recent to have an impact at the time. Although the staff and governors were disappointed with the outcome, they were reassured a number of aspects of the schools performance were recognised as strengths and now they need to build on those foundations," it stated.
Chair of governors Martin Ward said: "The governing body is confident we have the right staff in place to deliver and sustain improvement.
"As Ofsted agreed, our pupils are articulate, intelligent and confident young people, who behaved well, felt safe and enjoyed coming to school. We must now ensure we give them the level of education they require and deserve."
• Key Stage 2 pupils do not make enough progress from the very high standards they achieve at the end of Year 2. Teachers do not set work that is hard enough for many of these pupils.
• Pupils' progress is not checked often enough, so pupils who are falling behind are not identified sufficiently quickly. As a result, many pupils fail to reach the targets set for them.
• Pupils fail to make enough progress in maths because the work is too basic, and teachers are not confident enough to adapt it.
• Teachers' marking often fails to tell pupils what they need to do next and there are too few opportunities for pupils to respond and improve their work.
• Teaching is not improving enough.
• Until very recently, the governing body has not had enough training or been given sufficient information to understand how well the school is performing. It has not demanded explanations from the school's leaders for the progress of pupils.
• The school's judgements about how well it is performing are too positive.
• The school is failing to provide equality of opportunity because pupils who are supported by the pupil premium, and in particular those eligible for free school meals, are making less progress than their classmates. Year 6 pupils for whom the school received the pupil premium in 2012 were over one year behind their classmates in English and six months behind in maths.
• Disabled pupils and those with special educational needs make less progress than similar pupils nationally because their needs are not identified quickly enough and extra support is not given consistently.
• Pupils are polite, well mannered and keen to do well. They show good attitudes towards learning and work extremely hard for their teachers, showing a great deal of pride in their work. Even when work is too easy or too hard they do not lose concentration or disrupt lessons.
• Behaviour is managed well and there are clear systems to support good behaviour. Pupils who may have more challenging behaviour are supported well.
• Attendance has improved as a result of a concerted effort by the school to curb the number of holidays taken by pupils during term time. Attendance is now above average, which is an improvement since the last inspection.
• Opportunities for senior staff to develop their leadership skills have been limited. As a result, during the sick leave of the headteacher there was no one in a position to take over.
• Systems for monitoring the quality of teaching and assessing how much teachers should be paid in relation to their performance and school priorities are inadequate. The monitoring of teaching is neither regular nor rigorous enough.
• The local authority has had little input into this school because it has been perceived to be effective.
• The governing body is operating with several vacancies. Many governors are relatively new and there has been insufficient training for them to fully understand their role. They are not holding leaders to account for the school's performance.