South Yorkshire school in special measures still failing

Montagu Primary school, Mexborough. Picture: Marie Caley S3015MC
Montagu Primary school, Mexborough. Picture: Marie Caley S3015MC
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A school placed in special measures by education watchdogs has been told it still needs to raise its standards.

Officials from Ofsted revisited Mexborough’s Montagu Primary shortly before Christmas to check up on improvements after the school was put into special measures in October last year.

However, inspectors have revealed that plans put in place to improve standards had not yet delivered results, and both Doncaster Council’s statement of action and the school’s own action plan were not fit for purpose.

The school was inspected on December 17, shortly before headteacher John Scatchcard stepped down from the post.

An associate headteacher from Rooks Nest Primary School in Wakefield, described as ‘outstanding’, has now been drafted in to drive the school forward.

The report said: “Work to tackle the areas for improvement is at very early stages. However, delays to brokering training, securing additional leadership support and in arranging external reviews of governance has resulted in slippage in implementing these aspects of plans.

“As a result, plans have not had the impact intended on teaching, leadership and governance.”

The report added that expectations about attendance and punctuality had been revised and that attendance had started to rise this term following a dip last year.

However, it said that checks on developing teaching and writing were not taking place regularly enough.

Inspector Gina White added: “Governance has been strengthened with the additional experience of educational professionals. The headteacher’s report is starting to provide greater detail about the quality of teaching, although senior leaders, governors and the local authority are aware that the quality of teaching has not improved as quickly as they expected.”

A ‘sharper’ focus on tackling inadequate teaching was now in place too.

No-one from the Park Road school was available to comment on the latest inspection findings.