Complaint leads to bad report for Doncaster school


A complaint about a leading Doncaster school has led inspectors to downgrade it from ‘outstanding’ to needing improvement.

Ofsted was made aware of ‘serious concerns’ about the running of St Wilfrid’s C of E Primary School in Branton, with allegations of intimidating and bullying behaviour by some pupils.

Inspectors were sent in for two days last month by the Chief Inspector to establish if standards were falling and pupils were being disadvantaged by variable teaching, and if parents’ concerns were being dealt with by headteacher Celia Oates.

They have decided that:

* standards at the end of Year 2 and Year 6 have fallen over time and are now average.

* pupils’ progress in the Early Years Foundation Stage, and across Years 1 to 6, is generally no better than expected in writing and mathematics.

* the achievement of the most able pupils is not high enough and they are not always given work that challenges them to do their best.

* teaching is not consistently good. Some teachers do not make sure all pupils are given work that gets the best out of them. Some pupils do not achieve their full potential because staff do not check their progress in lessons rigorously.

* the learning of pupils, in some lessons, is hindered by low-level misbehaviour, largely due to activities that do not enthuse pupils, or promote concentration.

* actions taken by the headteacher, senior leaders and governors have not been effective enough, over time, to sustain high quality teaching, and achievement.

* a small number of parents do not feel that the school responds appropriately to their concerns, or provides enough information about their children’s progress.

St Wilfrid’s was rated ‘outstanding’ in 2008 but the inspectors found there had been widespread changes in staffing since January 2013, including the appointment of a new headteacher and senior leadership team, and new governors.

Three of the school’s seven teachers were temporary.

“These changes have disrupted the quality of teaching and standards have fallen and some pupils have underachieved,” said the inspectors.

“Historically, governors recognise that they have not held the school sufficiently to account for its outcomes, particularly in writing and mathematics.

Some of Doncaster outstanding schools have provided training for St Wilfrid’s, they added.

Eleanor Brazil, Director of the Children and Young People’s Service, said: “We are working closely with St Wilfrid’s, offering staff and governors support and challenge to make rapid improvements.”