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Stafford head hits back at 'grim' Ofsted report

By Staf Newsletter  |  Posted: November 16, 2012

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A STAFFORD school has been put in special measures after being given a damning Ofsted report, leaving parents worried for their youngsters.

Teaching and progress of pupils at John Wheeldon primary have been slammed by inspectors, who say the school needs to take swift steps to bring it up to scratch.

The publication of the report on Monday left parents worried, with one telling the Newsletter he would remove his child from the school if it wasn’t his final year.

The parent, who asked not be named, said: “We received a letter from the school and were shocked to see how damning the report was.

"Everyone is worried.

"My son is in his last year. If he wasn’t I would want to send him somewhere else.”

But headteacher Margot Colgrave has rushed to reassure parents as she says the inspection report only provides a snapshot and does not truly represent the work being done.

She says she and staff were already aware of issues with pupils’ slow progress - which was why teaching was judged to be inadequate - and had been working hard for months to drive up improvements, none of which was acknowledged by Ofsted.

“The report makes grim reading and we are extremely disappointed by it,” she told the Newsletter.

“It does not give a true picture of the school and is largely focused on progress of pupils. Our Sats results were in line with the national average and we had already identified areas for progress.

“Being placed in special measures is upsetting, we were not expecting it and understandably parents are concerned.

"Staff are very disappointed and it puts everyone under a lot of stress as they work so hard.

"Many of the lessons that were observed by inspectors were judged good or outstanding.”

With the new Ofsted framework, which has scrapped the satisfactory rating, it was deemed the school had not made progress quickly enough.

Miss Colgrave said in the eight weeks since the inspection she had met weekly with governors and written an action plan, which was being shared with parents.

“A school in special measures will be more rigorously monitored and we have got to improve. HMI inspectors will be coming into school once or twice a term.

“John Wheeldon is a lovely school and we have got to make progress levels higher.”

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