Chickenley Community Junior, Infant and Nursery School rescue plan gets thumbs down from Ofsted

In an unusual move, HMI inspector Jonathan Brown has revisited the 294-pupil school and described its action plan to turn things around as “not fit for purpose”

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Chickenley Community J I and N School

A troubled Kirklees primary school has received a further black mark from Ofsted.

Chickenley Community Junior, Infant and Nursery School, Dewsbury, was placed in Special Measures last November after inspectors found that standards set were too low and children were underachieving.

Now, In an unusual move, HMI inspector Jonathan Brown has revisited the 294-pupil school and described its action plan to turn things around is “not fit for purpose.”

His damning letter to headteacher Bronagh King said: “School leaders and governors have not taken effective action to address the areas for improvement identified in the last inspection. This is because planned actions are not being implemented with the urgency required and monitoring is not sufficiently swift or robust enough to assess the impact of leaders’ actions.

“The school’s improvement plan is not fit for purpose. This is because it does not have a sufficient level of challenge to ensure that teachers have consistently high expectations of what pupils can achieve.”

He said that Kirklees Council’s statement of action was fit for purpose.

Mr Brown continued: “Actions to build the skills and knowledge of governors have not been implemented speedily enough. Senior leaders and governors do not have sufficient evidence to evaluate the impact of actions taken so far. The evidence of the impact these actions are having in lessons needs to be gathered urgently.

“During the inspection, concerns were raised by some staff and the local authority about aspects of behaviour and safety in the school. This will be a focus of the next monitoring inspection.”

He added that, although governors were well-intentioned, they did not have the necessary skills to monitor progress.

Head teacher Bronagh King said “Everyone at the school is continuing to work very hard on raising standards as quickly as possible, for the benefit of current and future pupils.”

A Kirklees Council spokesman said: “We are working hard with staff and governors to ensure that the school makes the rapid progress which is needed.

“It is encouraging that HMI found the local authority’s support plan to be fit for purpose.

“We have also appointed an executive headteacher, Richard Lee, to give strategic direction to the school and to support the existing leadership team.

“Mr Lee is very experienced and will have a particular focus on ensuring that there is a positive work ethos which supports children’s learning.

“We are also ensuring that the school is governed with rigour and with a clear focus on the expertise needed to raise standards as quickly as possible.

“We are confident that, with the support of all involved, children at the school will soon benefit from the improvements being made.”

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