UPDATE: Peterborough primary school to become academy after terrible Ofsted sees it placed in special measures

A Peterborough primary school will become an academy after its governing body was disbanded.

Friday, 20th May 2016, 7:00 am
Gladstone Primary

Gladstone Primary will be taken out of the hands of Peterborough City Council following the release of a terrible Ofsted report which saw it branded ‘inadequate’.

The governing body at the school has already been disbanded and replaced by an Interim Executive Board (IEB), while the junior college leader at Thomas Deacon Academy, Simon Martin, has been brought in as interim headteacher.

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.

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According to the latest Ofsted report, 94 per cent of its 538 pupils speak English as an additional language.

A council spokeswoman said: “The school will become a sponsored academy, and the sponsor will be named when it has been agreed and approved by the IEB and the Regional Schools Commissioner.

“In the meantime Simon Martin, junior leader at Thomas Deacon Academy, has been asked by the Interim Executive Board to become interim headteacher whilst the city council and the Department for Education explore the best way in which Gladstone Primary School might be supported in the longer term.”

Gladstone Primary was rated inadequate in November 2011, but 14 months later this was bumped up to good with inspectors praising the leadership of headteacher Christine Parker who had “significantly improved the school.”

However, she has now left the school. The council spokeswoman added: “Christine Parker has left by prearranged agreement with the school’s governors. She was due to leave at the end of August 2016 but requested that this be brought forward to the end of April 2016. Staff and parents/carers have been informed.”

The 2013 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.”

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.

“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.”

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.”