Armley Primary School in Leeds rated inadequate by Ofsted after 'significant decline in all aspects'

Armley Primary School
Armley Primary School
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Armley Primary School in Leeds has been rated as inadequate - the lowest grade possible - in its latest Ofsted inspection.

The school in Salisbury Terrace, LS12 has been given the lowest possible rating in three categories out of five and inspectors have recommended the school is placed in special measures.

Ofsted rated the school as inadequate for effectiveness of teaching, the quality of teaching and early years provision, leading to an overall rating of inadequate.

Personal development and early years provision were rated as ‘requires improvement’ in the report from an inspection carried out on February 27 to 28 this year.

The report said the quality of education has ‘deteriorated significantly’ since the last inspection in 2014.

The inspection said the school is not preparing pupils for the next stage in their education and the curriculum does not cover subjects in enough depth.

It added: “Low expectations are common. Pupils are content to present teachers with poor-quality work because teachers do not always insist on high standards.

“Pupils’ written work contains frequent errors in spelling, punctuation and grammar that are rarely highlighted by teachers.

“Over time, weak leadership, inconsistent staffing and a lack of accountability has contributed to inadequate teaching, learning and assessment. Consequently, pupils’ progress across the school is extremely poor.”

The report added: “In accordance with section 44(1) of the Education Act 2005, Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector is of the opinion that this school requires special measures because it is failing to give its pupils an acceptable standard of education and the persons responsible for leading, managing or governing the school are not demonstrating the capacity to secure the necessary improvement in the school.”

Ofsted called for urgent action to address the weakness in leadership at the school and improve teaching.

The report went on to say that the interim headteacher and supporting headteacher are ‘beginning to address the many shortfalls in the school’s performance’.

It said: "Leaders have been unable to stem a significant decline in all aspects of the school’s work since the last inspection.

"It is only recently that those responsible for governance and the local authority have begun to act with sufficient urgency to improve leadership and the quality of education that pupils receive.

The report called for training for governors, appraisals for staff, plans for disadvantaged pupils and improvement in spelling, punctuation and grammar. It also demanded improvements to teaching, particularly for disadvantaged and special educational needs pupils.

In response, a spokesman for Armley Primary School said the school is ‘extremely disappointed’ and ‘eager’ to make quick improvements.

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‘This is an inadequate school’ - What the inspection says:

The quality of education pupils receive has deteriorated significantly since the last inspection in 2014. Although urgent remedial work has started recently, the school’s overall effectiveness is inadequate.

The school is overly reliant on external support. There is only very limited capacity from within the school to secure the significant improvements required

Teachers do not assess pupils’ learning effectively or have a thorough understanding of pupils’ starting points or additional needs. Lessons are often undemanding and do not meet the needs of pupils, particularly disadvantaged pupils and pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND).

Pupils’ attendance has improved markedly in the last few months. However, pupils’ poor attendance over time continues to have a negative impact on their learning as they endeavour to catch up.

Governance is weak. Over time, governors have not held leaders to account or fulfilled their statutory duties well enough.

Pupils’ behaviour in and around school has improved recently. However, a small minority of pupils continue to display poor attitudes to learning.

The curriculum does not cover the full range of national curriculum subjects in enough depth. Pupils rarely have the opportunity to learn new knowledge or develop their understanding of subjects such as geography and history. Provision for personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) education is limited.

Pupils’ behaviour in and around school has improved recently. However, a small minority of pupils continue to display poor attitudes to learning.

Pupils are not well prepared for the next stage of their education. In 2018, the progress made by Year 6 pupils placed the school in the bottom 10% of schools nationally in reading, writing and mathematics.

lnterim headteacher James Clay said: “The school is extremely disappointed with the outcomes of the report and is eager to make swift improvements for our pupils.

“Prior to and since the inspection, the school has implemented many changes all aimed at providing the best possible education for our pupils.

“This work includes support from other schools, specialist leaders in education and the local authority.

“ We are pleased to note that the Ofsted report acknowledges recent improvements in behaviour and teaching that have been implemented.”

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