A PRIMARY school that took its ‘eye off the teaching and learning ball’ was judged to have responded positively to an Ofsted inspection.
Easebourne CofE Primary was told improvements were required, following an inspection last October.
In a letter written to the school recently, inspector Patricia Metham said the school had become distracted by plans for its imminent £1m relocation to the now-vacant Midhurst Rother College building on Wheelbarrow Castle.
She said governors responded well to the criticism: “They acknowledge they had not previously taken enough notice of the limited progress made by some pupils.
“They recognise that, in planning for the school’s relocation, they had ‘taken their eye off the teaching and learning ball’.”
Head teacher Arthur Bain added of the criticism: “It’s one that she’s quite clear we have addressed now and we have put in place strategies that would deal with the move in the future.”
Stedham Primary School was also told it needed to improve, following an inspection around the same time.
In this instance, inspectors noted achievements in maths and English were not good enough, and added a high number of supply teachers was affecting pupils’ progress.
After the follow-up inspection, it was reported the school had begun taking effective action to tackle the areas requiring improvement.
In her letter to the school, Mrs Metham wrote: “Governors have begun work with an external advisor to review their current practice and to develop the knowledge and skills needed to present constructive challenge to the school’s leaders.”
The original report also noted: “In this small village school, adults know and care for their pupils very well. Pupils feel very safe.”
Speaking afterwards, Stedham’s head teacher Sally Dreckmann said: “We’ve got key issues that need to be addressed.”
She added although the school would be tackling the issues, she said there was a ‘fine balance’ between fun topics and more academic subjects.
“What we don’t want to do is go down the track of not giving our children any enrichment or enjoyment,” she added.