Sheffield primary school is ‘failing pupils’

St Mary's C of E school on Cundy Street, Sheffield
St Mary's C of E school on Cundy Street, Sheffield
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A Sheffield primary school has been put into special measures after being criticised by inspectors in a damning report.

Ofsted inspectors who visited St Mary’s Church of England Primary School in Cundy Street, Lower Walkley, said the quality of teaching and levels of achievement were ‘inadequate’.

The leadership and management team was also ‘inadequate’ and the behaviour and safety of the pupils ‘needed improvement’.

The school was given an ‘inadequate’ rating of four - the worst possible rating - after a slightly better three in 2009.

A summary of the report stated: “Pupils’ standards at the end of Year 2 are well below average in reading, writing and mathematics.

“At the end of Year 6, standards in English are well below average because pupils’ writing is so weak. Standards in mathematics are below average. Pupils of all abilities under-achieve in literacy.

“Teaching overall is inadequate, and so too many pupils fail to reach their potential.”

The inspectors said the teachers’ expectations were too low and the work did not challenge more able pupils.

Efforts by the executive headteacher and the head of school to offer good teaching had been hindered by high levels of staff turnover over a long period, they added.

But the inspectors said those eligible for free school meals, and pupils whose second language was English, received good support.

They said most pupils enjoyed school, attended regularly, tried hard and behaved well.

Jayne Ludlam, Sheffield Council’s executive director for children, young people and families, said: “It is obviously disappointing that one of our Sheffield schools goes into special measures, particularly as this was largely due to staff turbulence.

“We have been working with the school and governors and had identified some of the issues raised by the inspector last year and have already put in place an executive head and head of school to support the school and governors throughout this difficult period.”