ST Michael’s Primary School in Lyme Regis has been graded as ‘requires improvement’ in the latest report from school inspectors at Ofsted.
The voluntary aided Church of England primary and pre-school was rated ‘good’ following an inspection in January, but because of recent changes to the Ofsted Inspection Framework it had to be visited by inspectors again in May, and has now been downgraded to ‘requires improvement’.
During the inspection in May, inspectors were impressed that there was real determination to improve outcomes for pupils and, while many policies have been put in place recently, it is too soon for them to have measurable impact. The report also noted that pupils have positive attitudes and are ready and eager to learn.
However, its overall effectiveness was deemed to require improvement, including in the following areas: effectiveness of leadership and management; quality of teaching, learning and assesment; personal development, behaviour and welfare; outcomes for pupils; early years provision.
In the summary of key findings, the report stated: “Governors have not held leaders to account sufficiently to halt the decline in standards, especially at key stage 2.
“Governors have no been vigilant in ensuring that the funding for disadvantaged pupils and those who have special educational needs and/or disabilities is used to improve pupils’ academic success.
“Leadership capacity is limited because of the newness of leaders to their positions of responsibility. Consequently, there are inconsistencies in teaching and achievement.
“Some teachers’ expectations are too low. As a result, the most able pupils, including the disadvantaged, are not achieving at greater depth.
“Too many children in Reception are now achieving their early learning goals, especially in literacy and maths.
“Leaders have not promoted pupils’ moral, social and cultural development effectively. Too many pupils are not aware of the fundamental British values.
“Although attendance overall has improved, attendance of the most vulnerable pupils has not yet reached national averages.”
However, it added: “The headteacher is relentless in his determination to improve outcomes for pupils. Many necessaru policies have been put in place recently and it is too soon for them to have measurable impact.
“Pupils are kept safe at school and feel safe. Pupils have positive attitudes and are ready and eager to learn.
“Children in the pre-school are provided with a good start to school. Leaders plan well and ensure that children’s needs are met.”
Commeting on the report, headteacher Nick Kiddle said: “We are pleased the inspection recognised where we have started to implement changes to make more rapid progress in improving the outcomes for our children, even since our previous inspection in January.
“The governors, leaders and staff are very aware of our current position and the need to raise expectations and standards. We have an openness to advice and constructive criticism which will help us address the key findings in the report.
“We look forward to working with all our parents, staff, governors, the county council and the Diocese to ensure that we continue to do the very best for our children.”