Local School placed in Special Measures

StJoesphsBadgeA local primary school has been placed in special measures by Ofsted after receiving a rating of ‘Inadequate’ in its most recent inspection.

St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School on Selly Oak road had previously been rated as ‘Good’ but has now been downgraded after its teaching for Key Stage 1 pupils was described as inadequate.

The report also labelled the school’s leadership and management as inadequate: “because leaders, managers and governors have not acted swiftly enough to improve teaching and address the decline in attainment in Key Stage 1.”

In a packed meeting on Tuesday night many parents reacted angrily to the news and sought answers from the governors and headmistress Rachel Gould. However, many parents were also supportive of the school and argued that Ofsted’s inspection came in the first week of term when pupils hadn’t settled into their new classes properly.

The school draws pupils from Bournville, Kings Norton and further afield and has a single class intake each year. It has a below average number of pupils receiving free school meals or with special educational needs.

The report praised achievement at Key Stage 2 and in reception, saying that: “pupils demonstrate good attitudes to learning. They are interested in the topics and pay close attention to their teachers.”

The school was also praised for its record on pupil safeguarding with the report noting that: “Pupils say they feel very safe at school. Incidents of bullying are exceedingly rare and pupils know exactly what to do if they have concerns, including over the use of the internet and social networking.”

The school is part of a consortium of catholic schools which intend to join a Catholic Multi Academy Company. As a consequence of entering Special Measures the school will receive regular monitoring by Ofsted inspectors.

You can read the full report on the Ofsted website: www.ofsted.gov.uk/provider/files/2275773/urn/103448.pdf

12 comments on “Local School placed in Special Measures

  1. As a parent of pupils at the afore mentioned school I am gravely concerned that the substance of the report is being overlooked and blame can all too easily be laid at the feet of teaching staff. The school’s management expected a ‘Good’ on their SEF and couldn’t have been further from the truth – inadequate across the board! The data displayed on Ofsted’s data dashboard for KS1 is clear evidence that pupils now in KS2 have been failed and badly. The teachers currently in KS1 had been in place for one week at the time of the inspection and if you look at the recent OFSTED report for St. Columba’s (also in special measures) you will see quite clearly that the school’s teaching would have been rated inadequate regardless of the lesson observations that took place because pupil’s have consistently been failing to achieve the expected national standards in reading and writing and the leaders,managers and governors have not acted swiftly enough to “…address the decline in attainment at Key Stage 1.” (Inspection Report, 2013, p.3)

  2. Accepting the findings, being prepared to accept objective scrutiny and assistance and robust and well thought out interventions and strategies for the short and long term are what is needed. A true look in the mirror of reality,not the smoke and mirrors that’s been going on for far too long

  3. The leadership and management of the school were heavily criticized in the report for missing multiple opportunities over several years to recognise their failings and rectify them. On top of a failing leadership, described as not having the capacity to improve the school, the LA has failed in its response to the report by not removing a leadership proven inadequate. Instead more children’s education will be left to suffer while the leadership is given more time to compound their failings.

  4. Why has there been no mention of the local secondary school also in Special Measures after an OFSTED inspection this term?

  5. I see that the last inspection was 2008 when the school was deemed as good. What efforts have the Birmingham Council to move this school on so that they achieve a higher grade on the next inspection. The council has failed on every other aspect regarding the care of our children recently so I think they can add this to their failures. A new teacher on her fifth day with the class was monitored by someone who has spent most of his working life in education finds fault with the ‘new by’. If NQT’s are at fault that is the failure of the system that passes them as fit to teach or are we to expect the school to train them before the term starts. I’m sure the management at the school had nothing better to do during the first week of term.

  6. After such a damning report, one would believe that the somehow, STILL in place head would be pulling out all the stops to show the parents that she can turn things around. Seemingly she has instead opted to blame the current children of KS1 and their “naughty behaviour” for placing the school in special measures and to the entire school population too. How long can this in adequate and quite frankly shoddy leadership be allowed to continue? Come on OFSTED, Come on Birmingham City Council, somebody stop this fiasco now!!!!

  7. Assessment, monitoring, evaluation, realising potential of kids regardless of that’s what we should have heard on Tuesday not feeble and generic aspirations of ‘average’….shockingly weak and uninspirational so-called leadership. Our children should be taught to aim high and push themselves from the earliest moments of life not just ‘settle’ for average and that’s been the clear message for a very long time.

  8. Like many parents, my husband and I were shocked and then angry and upset at the Offsted reports findings of the inadequacies in KS1 (KS2 were rated “Good”).
    But there are many factors to be taken into consideration; structure, resource, finance, management and politics and making the Head a scapegoat with anonymous comments is both cowardly and inappropriate.
    Measures are now in place to turn things round in KS1 and I believe they will otherwise I wouldn’t still entrust my children’s education to the school. So let’s support the teaching faculty to make the changes required and give our children the great education they deserve and stop wasting energy with unhelpful and vindictive comments. That is not going to help our school or our children.
    As one parent emotionally commented at Tuesdays meeting, she would have “walked over hot coals” for her children to attend St Joseph’s AND STILL WOULD NOW. Let’s put that parental passion to positive use and not destroy what I believe, fundamentally, is a great school.

  9. As a parent who was prepared to go on record at last Tuesday’s meeting it is difficult not to be disappointed not only at ofsted’s findings, but also some of the less than we’ll thought out ‘reasons’ presented by the leadership team. Many public sector organisations go through tough inspection regimes, but what they have learned over time is that honest reflection and sourcing sound assistance is what helps to get through the tough times. Tuesday’s meeting showed that St Joseph’s parents are ready willing and able to help the teachers and management get back on a firm footing. Let’s hope that they embrace that willingness, talent and skill which is within reaching distance, for the current and future benefit of its staff and pupils.

  10. Michael Rollins – There are no NQT’s. The current Y1 teacher was an NQT last year (when, as highlighted in the OFSTED, she was ‘Ourstanding’), however this year, she has been left with no TA support and treated unfairly. When OFSTED knocks at the door, the management do have no other job than to ensure that the school is up to scratch!
    I was at the meeting on Tuesday, and yes, a governers son did give a rousing speech about the school, but if we are honest – 95% of the comments were critical of Mrs Gould and/or the Governing Body.
    Regardless of what any individual believes, the facts are that the schools results have been shocking over the last 3 years – 7% BELOW the national average for reading is not acceptable anywhere, let alone in such a fortunately, situated position. The Leadership and Management of the school have also been found inadequate at assessing the childrens attainment. In laymans terms – they got the figures wrong and misjudged how well the younger children were doing.
    In any other profession, failing across the board would leave you culpable – education should not be different. I wholeheartedly want to get behind St Joseph’s, but for me, this must be with out the current head and management,