Hopes for turn-around at Wellesley Park after OFSTED report

Wellesley Park Primary School. INSET: Cllr Frances Nicholson.

Wellesley Park Primary School. INSET: Cllr Frances Nicholson.

First published in News Somerset County Gazette: Photograph of the Author by

EDUCATION bosses are confident standards can be improved at a primary school which has gone into special measures after being judged “inadequate” in an OFSTED report.

Inspectors will keep an eye on Wellesley Park Primary School, Wellington, where a ‘super head’ has been drafted in to oversee its conversion to an academy.

It is the second school in Wellington to be placed into special measures this week after Court Fields Community School was also rated as "inadequate" by inspectors.

Previous head teacher Maureen Crofton retired at Christmas before the publication of the report, which said the leadership and management were “inadequate”, while pupil achievement, teaching quality, and the behaviour and safety of pupils, all “require improvement”.

Cllr Frances Nicholson, Somerset County Council cabinet member for children and families, said: “Working with the governing body, we’ve taken swift action to secure rapid improvement in the school’s performance through the appointment of an acting head teacher and the proposed move to academy status.

“There’s good evidence nationally that this approach leads to more rapid improvements in schools in this situation.”

Lindsay Gabriel, currently head at Stawley Primary School and a nationally accredited Local Leader of Education, has been sent in as acting head while the governors recruit a replacement to start in September.

KEY FINDINGS:

Weaknesses:

  • Wellesley Park has not done all the things a previous inspection report said it should.
  • Senior leaders do not us information about students' standards well enough to decide what should be improved.
  • Weaker teaching has not been tackled quickly enough.
  • Some tasks for pupils are too easy so they lose concentration.
  • Marking does not always tell pupils how they are doing or how to improve.
  • Reception children are not given enough time to learn through play.
  • Governors are unaware how fast pupils should be learning.
  • Sometimes pupils are allowed to work too slowly.

Strengths:

  • Pupils are proud of their school and pupil-adult relationships are positive.
  • Some teaching is good and pupils are engaged, challenged and involved in their learning.
  • Pupils are polite and well-mannered, are kept safe in school and contribute to school life effectively.
  • Some of the staff who lead subjects are effective and working hard to improve teaching and learning.

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