Education bosses under fire over Ofsted support

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SCHOOLS inspectors have accused Doncaster Council of being slow to respond to help a struggling primary school turn itself around.

The allegations are made in a letter to the consultant headteacher who is currently at the helm of St Joseph’s Primary School, in Rossington.

The school was put in special measures in October and re-inspected by officials who filed an interim report raising concerns over the local authority’s response.

Ofsted inspector Marianne Young said the council had been slow to respond and there was limited contact following the inspection.

She said: “A new senior schools standards and effectiveness officer has recently been appointed to work with senior leaders.

“Despite the statement of action being fit for purpose, the action plan written by the local authority needs to be strengthened urgently.”

But advice from the local authority was helping to deal with staffing issues and school leaders were making effective use of the support of consultants provided by the church diocese.

The school’s deputy headteacher has returned to work after absence and the chairman of governors had stepped aside. Two new governors had been appointed and one is now the chairman.

The consultant headteacher had carried out checks on marking and identified which teachers needed support. Links with a partner school had been set up and a focus on improving teaching.

Chris Pratt, director of the council’s children’s services, said: “We are actively supporting the school to make improvements and raise standards. The local authority was monitoring the situation prior to the inspection.

“We have written a new action plan that includes targets for measuring pupils’ progress and named individuals responsible for actions.

“The assistant director meets termly with the chair of governors, head teacher and the diocese to ensure progress against targets is being made. We also attend the monitoring inspections by HMI every term that judge how much progress has been made.”