A school has been placed in special measures after Ofsted ruled it was failing to give its pupils an acceptable standard of education.
Rogate Primary School, in Petersfield, saw its rating drop from ‘outstanding’ to ‘inadequate’ in the five years since its last inspection – and the situation was exacerbated by the loss of two headteachers since Christmas.
The school is obviously disappointed with the result, but receiving this rating means it will now receive the help and support it needs to improveLouise Stevenson, interim chairman of governors
Long-standing headteacher Mandy Hall left at the end of 2015, after receiving a promotion. Her role was taken by Paul Davies who, in a letter to parents on January 4, said he felt “extremely privileged” to take charge.
On February 2, though, the school announced he had resigned “with immediate effect” due to a change in his personal circumstances.
Mr Davies was in charge when the Ofsted inspection was conducted, with inspector Siân Thornton recognising he had “swiftly remedied key weaknesses” which had been found in the school’s safeguarding of the children. She added: “He has quickly won the confidence and respect of the dedicated staff team.”
Mr Davies’ departure saw Sarah Palmer, headteacher at Camelsdale School, help out in the interim, before Amy O’Toole was named acting headteacher on February 12.
Miss O’Toole said she was looking forward to helping the school return to at least a ‘good’ rating – and the scale of the task facing her was detailed in Ofsted’s report.
Ms Thornton highlighted issues with teaching and governance, and said Rogate’s improvement plan lacked urgency and detail and reflected “complacency”.
As for the children, she said: “Sometimes pupils lack resilience and determination, lose interest in lessons and become distracted, slowing their progress.”
Ms Thornton said governors had not held leaders to account, their evaluations of teaching and pupils’ achievement had been “over-optimistic” and they had not taken effective action to address declining standards, particularly in maths and writing in Key Stage 2.
Only 50 per cent of children achieved the expected level in the three Rs in 2015, compared to the 77 per cent West Sussex average.
Louise Stevenson, interim chairman of governors, said the team at Rogate was working with West Sussex County Council to move things forward in its action plan. She added: “The school is obviously disappointed with the result, but receiving this rating means it will now receive the help and support it needs to improve.”
A permanent headteacher is expected to be appointed before September.