‘Over-generous’ evaluation and ‘ineffective’ leaders stop Crumpsall school progress

A Manchester primary school has been told it requires improvement after an Ofsted inspection found it had been given ‘over-generous’ evaluations by the council.

An Ofsted report on Crumpsall Primary School, published in two weeks ago, found that governors and leaders had failed to address the flaws that had been flagged up in a previous report in May.

The inspector said: “Senior leaders and governors are not taking effective action to tackle the areas requiring improvement identified at the recent section 5 inspection in order to become a good school.”

The previous report found that the school needed to ‘urgently act’ on its governance and spending of its pupil premium grant, saying: “There was an external review into the spending of the pupil premium at the end of the summer term, but governors have not acted on its findings”.

Governors and senior leaders of the school were found to have held an ‘inaccurate view’ of the quality of the work of the school, which was said to be due to ‘overgenerous external evaluations by the local authority’.

“The governing body has a broad understanding of the school’s strengths and areas for improvement but has an over-generous view of the school’s effectiveness and pace of improvement, which is too slow,” the report claimed.

“Governors are not aware of the degree of inconsistency in the quality of teaching and are not effective in challenging the school to improve.”

The evaluations carried out by the local authority were said to be ‘too heavily based on the school’s assessment information’ which was criticized for not being ‘collected and analysed frequently to ensure all groups are making good progress’.

As a result, the progress expected of pupils’ reading, writing and mathematics at Key Stage 2 was reported to be ‘considerably below’ that of pupils in most schools in 2014.

In the latest report, the inspector also revealed that: “Six months after the inspection, there has been no impact from the improvements to make sure assessment information is more secure.

“The governing body needs to act with greater urgency if it is to be on course for the school to be judged good at the next inspection.

“There has been an external review of governance but the actions have not been agreed by the governing body or put into effect.”

Between reports, the school’s headteacher was absent and due to retire at the end of the year, with local authorities brokering the services of the headteacher and deputy headteacher from Crab Lane Primary School for four days a week.

“The current arrangements are working very well and the school’s improvement has been rapid since September,” the repor claimed.

“However, the lack of a permanent solution to the long-term leadership of the school is a cause for concern.”

School leaders were unavailable for comment at the time of writing this article.

Image courtesy of Google Maps, with thanks.

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