Updated: Saturday, 14th December 2019 @ 6:16pm

Teachers at Gorton school ‘do not understand purpose of marking,’ 18 months after damning Ofsted report

Teachers at Gorton school ‘do not understand purpose of marking,’ 18 months after damning Ofsted report

By Robbie Gill

Special measures imposed at a Manchester school have failed to improve standards – 18 months after their initial inspection.

Ofsted monitoring inspectors revealed Abbey Hey Primary School in Gorton had weaknesses in marking, ensuring challenging lessons and matching work to pupils’ needs, despite three subsequent visits.

The findings follow the initial report in May 2011 where the teaching was branded ‘not strong enough to eradicate underperformance,’ and ‘insufficient to accelerate pupil progress’.

Jenny Andrews, Deputy Director of Children's Services at Manchester City Council, said: "We are continuing to work closely with the school to ensure that standards improve.”

The recent inspection found that there is ‘not enough urgency and determination to ensure that these issues are tackled by ensuring it is implemented by all teachers.’

Furthermore, the turnover of staff has had a detrimental effect, the head teacher has retired, five others have left, and four classes are being taken by supply teachers.

Marking has been a particular cause for concern as ‘too many teachers do not understand the purpose of marking,’ leaving pupils unable to improve sufficiently according to the report.

A ban has been imposed on employing newly qualified teachers while the ‘proportion of pupils working at expected levels is too low and too few are making enough progress needed to catch up.’

The report highlighted one incident where pupils were asked to solve problems involving time even though many pupils could not read the time accurately.

The new head teacher, Trevor Matthews, is being praised for changes he has made so far, but the report highlights there is still much work to be done.

Ms Andrews said: "The new head was praised for the progress he has made since he started in September.

“We are confident that with his leadership further improvements will be rapidly made."

Since his appointment, he has taken ‘robust’ action to ‘remove the weakest teaching’ and has a clear plan with prioritises improving teaching standards.

Circumstances beyond the control of the school have also impeded plans to use a consultant to facilitate improvements in the Early Years Foundation Stage.

Pupil behaviour was highlighted as a positive, cooperating well in lessons and discussions. They have also been positive about the school when talking privately to inspectors.

School leaders record incidents of racism and homophobia and follow these up although there is still some way to go to eradicate this entirely according to the report.

Attendance is also improving, with some examples of pupils who were persistently absent attending school regularly, demonstrating that work in this area has been effective.

Abbey Hey Primary School declined to comment on the report’s findings.

Picture courtesy of marsmet491, with thanks.

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