Carfield Primary: Sheffield school rated 'requires improvement' by Ofsted following ‘unsettled time’ for all
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A Sheffield primary school that wrote “a new curriculum” in time for a visit by Ofsted has been rated ‘requires improvement’ in all areas – and recognised for coming through “an unsettled time” for all.
Carfield Primary School, in Meersbrook, has been the subject of repeat scrutiny in the past year, with two external audits by private assessors and the city council, to examine its safeguarding and special educational needs provisions, as well as a monitoring visit by the education watchdog in November.
It was then earmarked for a full graded inspection in April 2023 – ahead of which the school saw fit to throw out its previous rulebook and write a new curriculum, behaviour policy and revamp is SEND provision.
The report reads: “Pupils are happy and confident. Leaders’ improvements to safeguarding arrangements and practices in the school mean that pupils feel safe and are safe…Bullying is not a problem here.
“[Leaders] are currently making multiple changes to the whole-school curriculum…These changes demonstrate that leaders have high expectations for every child. However, these expectations are not yet being realised in practice. Leaders do not consistently check that the changes they are making are having a positive impact on pupil achievement.
“Leaders are determined to bring about some stability and reassurance for staff and pupils during what is currently an unsettled period for the school.
“Results from the parent survey show that some parents and carers have concerns about the communication they receive from the school. Leaders are taking action to address this.”
Inspectors noted that because nearly all systems at Carfield are new, the issues they did find were teething problems while these were implemented.
For example, behaviour among puils was largely good, but the new behavioural policy was not applied “consistently” to the students who did misbehave. The new curriculum meant pupils “attitudes to learning vary and they find it difficult to talk about their learning.” Attitudes towards reading were “mixed” but Ofsted said there was good work underway to address this.
Inspectors also noted the “early and accurate identification of pupils with SEND”, but felt plans for children lacked complexity.
Ahead of the report, acting co-headteachers Sophie Coley and Barry Wood said in a letter home to parents they would hold a parent consultation meeting to discuss the results.
It is also understood the school’s board of governors has elected two new co-chairs since the report.
Ms Coley said in a statement: “The governing body and the leadership team feel that the Ofsted process was fair and the outcome was in line with the school’s own self-assessment.
“Although we are disappointed to have moved from Good to Requires Improvement, we are confident that we are working on the right priority areas across school.
“We are confident that we will achieve good outcomes again... we are whole-heartedly committed to moving Carfield to ‘Good’ in all areas rapidly.”