A West Suffolk Primary School has been rated ‘inadequate’ and is said to ‘require special measures’, according to a recent Ofsted report.
Ixworth Primary School has been downgraded from ‘good’ to ‘inadequate’ following an inspection carried out in February by the education watchdog.
In a report, published on Monday, Ofsted inspectors say the school’s safeguarding ‘is ineffective’ and its systems for keeping pupils safe ‘are not robust’.
They add that ‘leaders have not acted swiftly enough to tackle weaknesses in teaching and learning’ and ‘governors have not challenged leaders sufficiently or held them to account for low standards of achievement’.
The report states: “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’s findings have caused concern for some parents, with one mother claiming she was ‘absolutely horrified’ by the report.
She attended a meeting at the school on Monday at which, she said, a representative from the local authority gave parents a two-year time frame for improvements.
She said: “All I want is to see the school improve, at least to ‘good’ – it would be lovely for it to be ‘outstanding’ but I’m not expecting a miracle. My child’s in that school and it’s going to take them two years to get it up to good, that’s not good enough.”
“I’m debating whether or not to leave my child at that school,” she added.
While agreeing there is ‘lots to improve’, headteacher Pip Whiteside said she was ‘very disappointed’ with Ofsted’s grading but ‘absolutely committed’ to moving the school forward.
She added: “We have already taken several steps to ensure that we are implementing rapid improvements that Ofsted identified. Our staff are passionate and understand the ethos and vision we are working towards to secure immediate positive change.”
Acknowledging that further support is needed, Sue Cook, director for children and young people at Suffolk County Council, said: “We will continue to work alongside leaders, including governors, at the school to ensure they make the rapid progress needed so that every child has the opportunity to reach their full potential.”
Ixworth’s ‘broad and interesting curriculum’ and its pupils’ ‘real enjoyment of books and literature’ and ‘well promoted’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development were among the strengths highlighted in the report.
To read the report in full go to www.reports.ofsted.gov.uk.