School rated ‘inadequate’ by Ofsted

Starbeck Primary has been rated "inadequate" in a recent Ofsted report. (S)
Starbeck Primary has been rated "inadequate" in a recent Ofsted report. (S)

A PRIMARY school branded “inadequate” by Ofsted has spoken of the measures it is taking to improve.

The overall effectiveness of Starbeck Primary School was judged to be inadequate in an Ofsted inspection in February, putting it within the bottom five per cent in the country.

Now, in a statement released to the Advertiser by North Yorkshire County Council, the school has defended itself.

“Starbeck Primary School was one of the first schools in the county to be inspected under a new Ofsted framework which has raised the bar on the grading of teaching and learning,” the statement said.

“Although Starbeck Primary was served notice to improve by the inspection team, inspectors readily acknowledged that Carolyn Sandford, the headteacher, had already embarked on a rigorous agenda to drive up standards with a renewed focus on learning, with the support of the local authority.”

The inspector, who visited the school in February, sat through 16 lessons and watched 11 teachers.

The Ofsted report, published in March, graded the school as inadequate in the achievement of pupils and the quality of teaching, judging it satisfactory in the behaviour and safety of pupils and the leadership and management.

The report said there had been much “staffing turbulence” since the last inspection, and a higher than average proportion of part-time staff.

In recommendations laid out by Ofsted, Starbeck Primary was told it must make “significant improvements”, particularly in the quality of teaching and pupils’ achievements in maths.

Teaching was too varied, the report concluded, and the pace of maths classes was too slow.

In defence of its teaching standards, the school said that action has since been taken to narrow gaps in performance and to address underachievement in maths.

Over the last year the school has brought in a tough action plan for improving core skills maths, it said, and a new chair of governors has been appointed.

In addition, the school has given priority to extracurricular activities and is working with the local authority to address security in the school’s playing fields and to tackle dog fouling problems.

The school said it has already, received a number of letters and positive comments from families.