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Great Whelnetham Primary School rated ‘inadequate’ by Ofsted

A primary school requires special measures after being rated ‘inadequate’ by Ofsted.

The watchdog said leaders at Great Whelnetham Church of England Voluntary Controlled Primary had ‘not maintained the school’s standard of education’ since its last inspection when it was judged ‘outstanding’.

A report noted they had been ‘too slow to address the decline in pupils’ achievement’ – with progress in writing and maths at the end of Year 6 in the ‘lowest 20 per cent of schools for the past two years’.

Great Whelnetham Primary School. Picture: Mecha Morton.
Great Whelnetham Primary School. Picture: Mecha Morton.

One parent said he had ‘serious concerns’ about the education children were receiving at the school, in Stanningfield Road.

They said: “I haven’t been happy with the school for some time.

“Individually some of the staff are very good but as an organisation I think it’s very badly run and I’ve serious concerns about the education they’re getting.

“I wasn’t expecting the report to be as bad as it is. If you read through it, it’s just damning.”

The report, published following an inspection on January 15 and 16, says a review of governance was carried out in 2017 and a ‘pre-warning notice’ was issued by the local authority.

However, governors ‘did not address the recommendations with rigour or urgency’.

It noted that newly appointed governors ‘know what needs to improve, but have not yet had sufficient time to make an impact’.

The school was rated ‘good’ for personal development, behaviour and welfare.

Ofsted found that ‘pupils are proud of their achievements and enjoy coming to school’.

It said the school ‘promotes pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development well’.

The watchdog recommended that leaders should ‘develop effective systems for monitoring, evaluating and improving the quality of teaching, learning and assessment’.

A spokesman for Suffolk County Council said it was ‘working closely’ with leaders, including governors, at the school to support them to ‘rapidly address’ the issues set out in the Ofsted report.

He added: “The school has begun to address these areas and with further support we are confident that the school leaders will make the improvements required, and that Ofsted will see evidence of this at the next inspection.”

The school was approached for comment.

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