STAFF at a Huddersfield primary school are in shock after it was put into special measures by inspectors.
Ofsted has just published a damning report on Lepton CE Voluntary Controlled Junior, Infant and Nursery School, which graded the school ‘inadequate’.
The decision has come as a total shock to staff, Kirklees Council and Huddersfield MP Barry Sheerman, who is a regular visitor at the Station Road school.
Together they are mounting a vigorous defence and have already lodged an official appeal with Ofsted.
Mr Sheerman, who was chairman of the Education Select Committee for 10 years, said: “I am deeply shocked and I think it is unfair. What is written in this report is not the school I know.
“I regularly pop into Lepton and have been impressed with what a good school it is. Anyone visiting will see a positive atmosphere.
“Yes, they have had some staff changes, but I would have thought Ofsted would have recommended that the school improve, not put it into special measures.
“I have talked to Ofsted and the appeal will be expedited. I do hope this decision will be reversed.”
Putting a school into special measures is a serious step.
The Lepton Ofsted report states: “A school that requires special measures is one where the school is failing to give its pupils an acceptable standard of education and the school’s leaders, managers or governors have not demonstrated that they have the capacity to secure the necessary improvement in the school.”
“This school will receive regular monitoring by Ofsted inspectors.”
The report’s key findings were:
Pupils’ achievement is inadequate and standards in Key Stage 1 are too low.
Pupils do not make sufficient progress in maths and many teachers do not have sufficient knowledge or skills to plan maths lessons effectively. Too many pupils are doing work which is far too easy for them.
Senior leaders believe the school’s performance to be far better than it is and have a limited impact on improvements.
Governors do not know enough about pupils’ progress and the quality of teaching.
Headteacher Lynn Lawson said: “We feel very strongly that the inspection was flawed. The report highlights several strengths, including some good teaching, good behaviour, pupils’ attitude and self-confidence and excellent relationships.
“However, it does not give the fuller, more accurate picture and we believe this injustice should be put right.
“We are above the national average for Key Stage 2 results in some subjects and we know that, as a school, we have a great deal to celebrate.
“This is clearly a difficult time, but we are receiving support from the local authority, the diocese and the wider school community.
“The care and education of our pupils are of the utmost importance and we are hopeful that Ofsted will see sense.”
The school is 153 years old and as a church school retains close links with the Wakefield Diocese.
A Kirklees council spokesman added: “The contents of the report came as a surprise and we are supporting the school in their appeal.
“We will continue to work closely with both the school and the diocese in an effort to achieve a positive outcome.”