A Brighton primary school has been rated “inadequate” – the worst rating out of four – in an official inspection report published today (Thursday 23 May).
Moulsecoomb Primary School was rated inadequate by Ofsted for the quality of teaching, learning and assessment – and for outcomes for pupils – as well as overall.
Two years previously it had been rated as “requires improvement” – the second lowest of the four grades.
Ofsted said that the school “requires improvement” when it comes to effectiveness of leadership and management and personal development, behaviour and welfare.
Its “early years provision” was good – the second best grade out of the four.
Ofsted said: “Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector is of the opinion that this school requires significant improvement, because it is performing significantly less well than it might in all the circumstances reasonably be expected to perform.
“This is an inadequate school. Leaders’ and governors’ evaluation of the school is inaccurate. Their actions to raise standards are too slow to have sufficient impact on how well pupils achieve.
“Outcomes for pupils, including those in vulnerable groups, are inadequate overall. Pupils’ progress in key stage 2 is weak, especially in writing.
“The quality of teaching, learning and assessment is inadequate overall. Leaders’ judgments about standards of teaching do not take enough account of the progress pupils are making in their learning.
“Teachers’ expectations of pupils are too low. They do not hold pupils closely to account for the quality of their work. This prevents pupils from making the progress of which they are capable.
“Teachers’ subject knowledge is variable. At times, teachers provide pupils with inaccurate information. In some lessons, the resources provided prevent pupils from learning well.
“Pupils’ attitudes to learning are inconsistent. At times, pupils struggle to concentrate and give up quickly.
“At times, rough play in the playground escalates because staff are not quick to notice and do not intervene decisively to stop it.
“Too many pupils are persistently absent from school, particularly those from vulnerable groups. Levels of attendance have been too low in recent years.
“The school has the following strengths: leaders’ work to improve pupils’ attitudes to learning is starting to have a positive impact.
“The school is an inclusive community. Leaders know pupils and their families well – and staff work hard to meet pupils’ varying needs, both social and emotional.
“Outcomes in phonics have improved in recent years and are close to the national average.
”Children get off to a strong start in the early years and make good progress as a result of effective teaching.
“Improvements in teaching and the curriculum in key stage 1 are enabling pupils to make better progress than in the past. New approaches to the teaching of mathematics are also showing early signs of improvement.”
The school had 283 children aged three to 11 when three Ofsted inspectors carried out a two-day visit at the start of last month.
Their report also said: “What does the school need to do to improve further?
“Rapidly improve the quality of teaching and thereby pupils’ outcomes, particularly in key stage 2, by ensuring that all teachers
– have consistently high expectations of what pupils can achieve so that they make strong academic progress
– insist on high standards of presentation and accuracy in all subjects
– have the secure subject knowledge required to teach all subjects successfully
– plan lessons carefully, ensuring that they use equipment and resources effectively so that they enable pupils to learn well.
“Develop the effectiveness of leaders and governors by ensuring that
– plans to improve the school focus sufficiently on their intended impact on pupils’ achievement, so that leaders can be held closely to account
– judgments about the effectiveness of teaching are closely aligned to the progress that pupils are making in their learning
– improvements seen in the lower part of the school and in the teaching of mathematics continue to strengthen and spread through the school.
“Improve pupils’ personal development, behaviour and welfare by
– ensuring that pupils, particularly the disadvantaged and those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND), attend school regularly and that persistent absence declines
– continuing to develop pupils’ attitudes to learning and strengthening their resilience and self-confidence, so that a greater number are better equipped to learn
– making sure that staff on the playground are quick to notice when play becomes rough and take swift action to restore order.
“This is an average-sized primary school. In most year groups there are two classes although there is one class in year 5.
“The proportion of disadvantaged pupils is well above the national average. Levels of deprivation are well above those seen nationally.
“Most pupils are white British but the school also has pupils from a range of ethnic backgrounds. The school has a greater number of ethnic groups represented than seen in primary schools nationally.
“The proportion of pupils with SEND (special educational needs and/or disabilities) is well above that seen in other schools across the country.
“The school is receiving additional support from the local authority. This includes support from improvement advisers. Leaders also work closely with other schools in their local cluster.”