Hitchin school put into special measures by OFSTED

A SCHOOL deemed inadequate by OFSTED inspectors has been put into special measures.

Wilshere-Dacre Junior School in Hitchin did not live up to the education watchdog’s expectations at an inspection in October.

A report, published last week, identified pupil achievement, quality of teaching and leadership and management as “inadequate”, and ruled behaviour and safety of pupils as requiring improvement.

The report says: “Leaders, managers and governors have not fully tackled weaknesses in teaching and the shortcomings in pupils’ progress, their achievement and attainment.

“Teaching is inadequate because expectations are not always high enough, the work set is insufficiently challenging, and there are too few opportunities for pupils to work independently or to review how well they are doing.

“The support and extra help given to many individual pupils are not having enough impact on improving standards even though the school has been given additional funding to do this.”

Above average attendance and a wide range of sporting and music opportunities were both identified as strong points at the Fishponds Road school.

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OFSTED will now continue to monitor the school every six months, until it is satisfied special measures are no longer needed.

Janet Langdon, interim headteacher at Wilshere-Dacre, said: “A number of positive comments were made about the school’s work with external agencies providing support for pupils and families and provision of extra curricular music and sport opportunities. The inspector did however find a number of areas that were identified as unsatisfactory which resulted in our school being placed in special measures.

“We will take on board the findings of the inspector and work to implement steps to improve in the areas identified in the OFSTED report.”

Susan Sheffield was headteacher at the school when OFSTED visited in October, but has since stepped down. The Comet was told by the county council this is due to “personal reasons”.

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