Progress, but there’s still room for improvement

Hilderthorpe school Sign 'PA1128-12
Hilderthorpe school Sign 'PA1128-12

THE latest Ofsted inspection at a Bridlington primary school which was placed in special measures describes progress being made in some areas.

Ofsted Inspector Mark Williams, who made the first monitoring visit to school with another inspector on October 18 and 19, since it went into special measures in May, said there were still issues relating to safeguarding of children procedures that need addressing.

Previously accessible ponds had been removed and a traffic management system for the site had been introduced since the May inspection, and other improvements made but some checks were not being carried out leading to flaws in some staff assessments.

There was still criticism that families were not always kept informed their child had been subject to name calling or racist comments.

Also that phone calls to other agencies regarding pupils considered to be vulnerable were not always routinely recorded.

“The confidence of parents and carers in the school’s leadership has weakened although parents and carers seen during the inspection recognised improvements in behaviour and the efforts of the headteacher,” said the report

A number of changes have been made at the school, including a change of leadership.

At the end of October, former headteacher Sue Everson retired, which led to East Riding of Yorkshire Council strengthening the role of executive headteacher Leon Myers, and the appointment of Amanda Barnett as acting head of school.

The school has also appointed an education welfare officer to focus on attendance for the equivalent of one day a week and additional members of the governing body have been appointed by the local authority.

Measures to improve pupils attendance were said to be making good progress.

“Pupils are attending school on a more regular basis. The number of pupils persistently absent has reduced significantly. Pupils are responding well to initiatives and rewards put in place and enjoy watching how well their class is performing on the boat race chart.”

The Inspectors also found the school was making satisfactory progress in raising attainment in English and maths, particularly in boys in years 5 and 6 while satisfactory progress was being made in the improvement of pupils’ behaviour and conduct outside lessons.

“Pupils were observed behaving satisfactorily in classes and were very polite around the corridors, holding doors open and not forgetting to add please and thank you,” said their report.

Satisfactory progress is also being made to improve the quality of individual education plans for those pupils with special educational needs or disabilities who have statement of special educational needs.

Mike Furbank, head of achievement and inclusion at East Riding of Yorkshire Council, said: “The overall judgement of the report of the monitoring visit is disappointing but I am heartened by the clear improvement in many areas.

“The revised leadership structure is absolutely committed to bringing about improvement and the local authority will continue to support this with the same vigour and challenge that is warmly praised in the report.

I look forward to the next HMI visit as I firmly believe they will be able to see even more improvement.”

Amanda Barnett, acting head of school, said: “We would like to reassure parents that the findings of inspectors are being taken very seriously by the school and the local authority and that a very rigorous action plan is in place to ensure that all safeguarding issues are dealt with immediately.”