A Peterborough primary school has been taken over by an interim board after Ofsted rated it as ‘inadequate’.
The governing body at Gladstone Primary School has been disbanded and replaced by an Interim Executive Board (IEB) as Peterborough City Council seeks to make rapid improvements following concerns raised by inspectors.
The junior college leader at Thomas Deacon Academy, Simon Martin, has been brought in as interim headteacher at the school while the Department for Education decides how it should be supported long term.
Gladstone Primary, which teaches pupils in Gladstone Street and Bourges Boulevard, hit the news in 2013 when it was reported that no children there speak English as a first choice language.
According to the latest Ofsted report, 94 per cent of its 538 pupils speak English as an additional language.
Gary Perkins, head of school improvement for the council, said: “We are disappointed with the findings of the Ofsted inspection which confirm recent concerns that we have had about the school.
“We want to ensure all the pupils at the school receive a good standard of education and are given the opportunity to reach their full potential. Therefore we are working closely with staff, the IEB and other partners to put in place an action plan which will bring about rapid progress.
“We have already seen how IEBs can bring forward rapid change and improvements at schools in Peterborough and we are confident this can be achieved at Gladstone Primary.”
Gladstone Primary was rated inadequate in November 2011, but 14 months later this was bumped up to good with inspectors praising the leadership of the then headteacher Christine Parker who had “significantly improved the school.”
That inspection had been the last one at the school until Ofsted visited on March 8 and 9 this year.
In its report, it states that: “Governors are not meeting their legal duty to ensure that pupils are safe.”
The effectiveness of leadership and management, outcomes for pupils, early years provision, and personal development, behaviour and welfare are all rated as inadequate.
The quality of teaching, learning and assessment is rated as requires improvement, leading to an overall rating of inadequate.
The report states: “By the time they leave at the end of Year 6, pupils are at least a year behind other pupils nationally in reading, writing and mathematics because they are not making good progress.”
In addition, it says: “Pupils’ progress in reading and writing was identified for improvement in the previous inspection in 2013 and since then standards have fallen significantly. Expectations for what Gladstone pupils are able to achieve are too low.”
However, inspectors noted that “the progress that disadvantaged pupils are making is improving rapidly.”
The application to the Department for Education to appoint the IEB was made by the council in conjunction with the school.
The IEB takes on the accountabilities of the governing body, which includes looking after the school’s budget and other responsibilities around the curriculum and staffing, pay and performance management.
Interim headteacher Mr Martin said: “I look forward to working with Gladstone Primary School to ensure that the pupils receive the very best education.
“I am concerned to hear the outcome of the school’s recent Ofsted inspection but believe that, working closely with the staff, pupils and their families I can support Gladstone Primary School on its return journey to success.”
In his latest Peterborough Telegraph column, council leader and cabinet member for education, Councillor John Holdich, wrote: “Businesses want to know that they are moving to a city with good facilities for employees and their families – and education is clearly always high on the list.
“I’m proud that in Peterborough around nine out of every 10 primary schools are rated good or better by Ofsted.
“That figure has continued to increase even during a period of rapid growth in our school population. Since 2007 we have created more than 5,000 new primary school places.”
Responding to the news about Gladstone Primary, Mr Perkins said: “We have a higher than average number of primary schools rated good or outstanding in Peterborough and we continue to work closely with those schools that require improvement so that every child receives a great education regardless of where they live in the city.”