‘Weak teaching, insufficient support’: Ofsted report says Collyhurst primary school failing special needs children

A Collyhurst primary school is not doing enough for disadvantaged and special needs children according to Ofsted.

St Patrick’s RC Primary School has only 243 pupils and contains double the national average of disadvantaged pupils.

It also has above average numbers of pupils with special needs or a disability and inspectors have stated that the school requires improvement.

“By the end of the early years, there is a large gap between the attainment of disadvantaged children and others,” said the report.

“Leaders have not evaluated the impact of the strategies to support this group and used this evaluation to raise standards.

“Teachers have not been rigorously held to account for the progress that pupils made and some weak teaching has not been tackled swiftly.”

The school governing body said that funding to support these children has not been used effectively and found that writing is one of the main issues facing pupils in their early years.

“Children who find writing difficult are not given sufficient support and time to develop their writing skills,” wrote the inspector.

“Not enough is done to support young pupils with special educational needs in developing and practising the skills to become effective writers.”

Older children at the primary school are found to be performing better, however.

“Pupils particularly relish the opportunities they have to write. Adults’ very high expectations, combined with creative lessons result in a very high-quality learning experience for pupils,” the report said of Upper Key Stage 2.

In 2015 Ofsted reported that the school’s disadvantaged pupils, across key Stages 1 and 2, were achieving at a lower level, not only against other pupils at the school but nationally.  

“Governors have accepted information about the schools’ performance without questioning its accuracy, since the last inspection the pace of improvement has been too slow,” said the report.

“Detailed evaluation for groups, such as disadvantaged pupils has not been undertaken, the attainment of disadvantaged pupils is lower than other pupils.

“The new executive head teacher has no illusions about the school’s performance and has an accurate view of pupils’ achievement and the actions needed to bring about swift and sustained improvement.”

The Schools’ Executive Head teacher, Anne Clinton, has issued a statement through the council admitting failures have occurred and claiming work is underway to improve support for pupils.

“We fully accept the findings of the report and are working with the Diocese, local authority and our partner school, St Edmund’s, to bring about necessary improvements,” she said.

Image courtesy of Google Maps, with thanks.

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