Sheffield school 'disappointed' after being told it still 'requires improvement' by Ofsted inspectors

A Sheffield school said it is ‘disappointed’ after being judged to require improvement’ by Ofsted, despite making positive changes over the past year.

Wednesday, 2nd October 2019, 12:14 pm
Updated Wednesday, 2nd October 2019, 15:14 pm
Concord Junior School, Wincobank (google)

Concord Junior School, in Wincobank, was judged ‘requires improvement’ in all four aspects following a visit by inspectors from the education watchdog in June – the second consecutive visit the school has received the judgement.

In their report, which was published on September 27, inspectors said that school leaders had used additional funding to help benefit disadvantaged pupils and ‘ensure they are able to take a full part in school life by subsidising visits and activities’ but that the funding had not helped all disadvantaged pupils, particularly those with additional barriers to learning, and that exclusion rates for these pupils remains ‘too high’.

Parents’ views on the school were also said to be ‘mixed’, with some showing concern about the behaviour of some pupils. However, inspectors said that leaders have taken steps to manage poor behaviour by ensuring a ‘consistent approach’ is used.

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The work of the new executive principal Linda Hoyle is also said to have ‘begun to bring about improvement’, especially in the behaviour of pupils at more ‘unstructured’ times of the day.

Mike Westerdale, CEO of Brigantia Learning Trust which governs the school, said: “We were delighted the inspection team had confidence in the new leadership team at Concord Junior Academy, with Mrs Sherwood, Head of School, and Mrs Hoyle, Executive Principal.

“Concord’s reading outcomes have increased by nearly 20 per cent in a year and as a Trust, we know the Concord community believe this is now considered to be an expectation and not an exception.

“We are disappointed that these and similar improvements were not sufficient for the team to judge the academy overall to be ‘good’ on this occasion.

“However, the upward trajectory over the past year has continued in the four months since the inspection took place and we are therefore confident that by our next inspection, not only will the academy be judged to be ‘good’, ‘outstanding’ features will also be recognised.”

The school must now improve the quality of leadership and management, by using additional funding more effectively, and improve the quality of teaching, learning and assessment so it is consistently good.

There must be an improvement in pupil’s attendance, to further reduce ‘lost learning opportunities’ caused by absence, and attainment and progress for all must improve.

An external review of the school’s use of the pupil premium should also be undertaken to assess how it may be improved.