Ofsted inspectors raise concerns over Stevenage school’s teaching and leadership

Bedwell Primary School in Stevenage. Picture: Louise McEvoy.

Bedwell Primary School in Stevenage. Picture: Louise McEvoy. - Credit: Archant

A primary school has received a ‘requires improvement’ rating from Ofsted, with inspectors highlighting issues with the quality of teaching, leadership and pupils’ attendance.

Bedwell Primary School in Stevenage was inspected by Ofsted in May and the subsequent report published on Monday shows its performance has slumped from ‘good’ at the last inspection in 2014 to ‘requires improvement’.

The report says: “The progress pupils make across the school is not consistently good, particularly in reading and mathematics.

“Writing and mathematics attainment at the end of Year 2 has been significantly below average for the last two years.

“Results at the end of Key Stage 2 in 2017 were not good. Pupils left with attainment below the national average in reading, writing and mathematics.”

Inspectors said leaders and governors do not ensure procedures to improve the quality of teaching, learning and assessment are effective enough, and that governors do not hold leaders to account for performance.

Leadership of some subjects, such as history and geography, is not well developed and pupils consequently do not make good progress.

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The report says: “The quality of teaching is not consistently good. Often staff do not have high enough expectations of what pupils can achieve or do not match work to the pupils’ needs.”

Pupils’ attendance remains below average, with some having high levels of absence.

Highlighting the school’s strengths, the report says: “Bedwell Primary is a very caring and inclusive school. Pupils are proud of their school and behave well. They feel happy and safe.

“Children make a good start to their learning in the early years. They make good progress from very low starting points in both nursery and reception.

“The teaching of phonics is effective.”

Brian Jones, the chair of governors, said: “The inspection highlighted many strengths across the school, but also some key areas that needed to be improved. As a result, the school was judged to be requiring improvement, particularly in the area of ‘outcomes’, which relates to Key Stage 2 SATS results in 2017.

“The board of governors understand the reason for the judgement at this time, and have already put in place clear plans to deliver the improvement identified.”

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