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Barnack Primary Ofsted result sparks string of school improvements

A school headteacher has blamed funding cuts for declining standards at his school.

Barnack Primary was last rated ‘outstanding’ in 2011 but when inspectors called last month, they found it ‘requires improvement.’

Headteacher Neil Fowkes said he is ‘pleased’ Ofsted recognised strengths such as pupil wellbeing provision, safeguarding, pupils enjoying reading and governor involvement being effective.

Ofsted logo (7059641)
Ofsted logo (7059641)

But Mr Fowkes accepted the school had ‘key areas’ to develop and improve on.

He said: "Like many village primary schools we have faced funding reductions from government in recent years, which combined with cuts to the local authority and the loss of pupils to private schooling has led to us having to make some difficult choices."

"Stronger staffing" was also delivering "signs of real progress."

He continued: "I have worked with the governors to identify what needs to be done, produce a robust plan of action and ensure that funds are available for improvement. We are working in partnership with the Local Authority, our local Teaching school and with several other local schools in order to help to accelerate our pace of improvement still further."

The new chairman of governors, Clare Duffy, added: "The governors have already taken positive action to address the issues highlighted and will be working closely with the school leadership to ensure continued progress.

"We also recognise the strengths identified in the report and whilst there is a lot of hard work to be done we are confident that when Ofsted next return they will see substantial improvement."

In the report, Ofsted said: "Leaders have not acted quickly enough to prevent a decline in quality of provision."

Leaders do not check precisely or systematically, teachers do not routinely plan activities that provide appropriate challenge, some teachers also have low expectations and absence was higher than in 2016 and above average, Ofsted also reported.

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