School told it ‘must do better’

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Pupils are making inconsistent progress at a Sheffield primary school which inspectors have ruled requires improvement.

The verdict on Westways Primary at Crookes is the latest in a series of critical reports by Ofsted, which has toughened up its procedures this academic year.

Achievement in maths and among lower ability pupils was patchy, while the attainment gap between pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds and other children in the school was not narrowing.

Progress made by pupils with disabilities and others with special needs was variable too as their work was not always set at the right level and they didn’t get enough help in class.

Leadership had not moved the school forward sufficiently to bring about improvements to teaching or to the pupils’ progress.

As a result the quality of teaching was inconsistent and much of it required improvement, the inspectors found.

This was shown by work not always well matched to pupils – lower ability youngsters sometimes found their work too difficult, while some of the most able found it undemanding.

Teachers’ expectations of the children were sometimes too low, while the pupils’ work was at times poorly presented.

There was also criticism of inconsistent behaviour policies, which resulted in some pupils losing interest and not being eager to learn.

Plus points identified included the cohesive nature of the school, with pupils from many diverse backgrounds getting on well together.

Most pupils behaved well and most worked hard in lessons, inspectors found.

School governors are meeting parents this week to discuss the report, with sessions at the school this evening at 6pm and tomorrow at 8.30am.