The following is an extract from the 2013 Ofsted report:
Holt Farm Junior School
Ashingdon Road, Hawkwell, Rochford, SS4 1RS
Inspection dates 22–23 January 2013
Previous inspection: Satisfactory 3
This inspection: Inadequate 4
Achievement of pupils Inadequate 4
Quality of teaching Inadequate 4
Behaviour and safety of pupils Requires improvement 3
Leadership and management Inadequate 4
Summary of key findings for parents and pupils
This is a school that requires special measures.
- Too much teaching is inadequate. Strategies to tackle underperformance have only recently been introduced and weak teaching has been tolerated for too long. Improvements have been limited by disagreements between leaders and some teachers.
- The progress of pupils in Years 3 and 4 is too slow and their achievement is inadequate.
- The support for pupils with special educational needs is not effective. This means that they make inadequate progress, especially in mathematics.
- The work pupils are given is too often the same for all abilities, is not challenging enough, and does not meet pupils’ needs.
- The governing body has not ensured that all of their statutory duties have been met.
- The challenging behaviour of a very few pupils sometimes disrupts learning. The school’s strategies to deal with this are not always used quickly enough.
- Leaders and managers have not been able to bring about improvements rapidly enough. Despite recent improvements, weaknesses remain.
- The leaders’ evaluation of the school’s performance has been weak and leaders have not compared the work of the school to that of other schools. Until recently, the local authority has not worked closely with the school’s leaders to check the accuracy of their views and bring about improvements.
- Until recently, the governing body has not challenged the leaders sufficiently, particularly about the quality of teaching, the provision for pupils who have special educational needs and how the school’s funds are spent.
The school has the following strengths
- The progress of older pupils has improved and their attainment has risen to broadly average.
- The teaching by the permanent members of staff present during the inspection was often good.
- Parents say that they feel more welcome in school and that communication has improved
In accordance with the Education Act 2005, Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector is of the opinion that this school requires special measures because it is failing to give its pupils an acceptable standard of education and the persons responsible for leading, managing or governing the school are not demonstrating the capacity to secure the necessary improvement in the school.
Information about this school
- An average-sized junior school, this school is located on the same site as an infant school. There are two classes in Year 4 and 5 and sufficient pupils for three classes in Year 3 and Year 6, although at the time of the inspection, the Year 3 pupils had been combined into two classes.
- Almost all pupils are White British; a range of other minority ethnic heritages is represented.
- The proportion of pupils supported at school action is average; the proportion supported at school action plus or with a statement of special educational needs is above average.
- The proportion of pupils who are eligible for the pupil premium additional funding is broadly average. These pupils include those who have been eligible for free school meals as well as children who are looked after by the local authority.
- An interim head teacher was appointed in January 2012; this appointment was made permanent in September 2012. A seconded deputy head teacher was appointed, initially for two days per week. This secondment was extended to full-time in January 2013. A new chair of governors was appointed in January 2012.
- Following disputes between school leaders and some teachers over changes in the school, there has been industrial action. Consequently the local authority has recently appointed a strategic management board to take over some of the roles of the governing body, and to work with the governing body.
- The school meets the government’s current floor standard, the minimum expectations for pupils’ attainment and progress at the end of Year 6.
What does the school need to do to improve further?
Eliminate inadequate teaching and ensure that teaching is at least good and that pupils have a consistently positive experience of learning, by:
- ensuring that teachers give groups of pupils of different abilities tasks which are hard enough for them, and allow pupils enough time to get on with their work
- ensuring that all teachers follow the specific strategies that have been agreed
- making sure that all teachers work together to identify what works best in lessons and take steps to improve their own practice.
Increase the rate and consistency of progress, particularly for younger pupils and those supported at school action, by:
- giving pupils time and encouragement to respond to high-quality comments in their books
- ensuring that resources are used and support from adults is focussed where they are most needed, including to manage the challenging behaviour of a very few pupils
- ensuring that the agreed approaches to setting targets for pupils are followed, so that pupils know what they should be working towards.
Subsequently: 25 April 2013,
- the first monitoring inspection since the school became subject to special measures following the inspection which took place on 23 January 2013 (see Inspector’s letter 26th April 2013)