Burnley headteacher's pledge after damning Ofsted report

Casterton Primary School in Burnley has been rated as inadequate by Ofsted inspectors.
Casterton Primary School in Burnley has been rated as inadequate by Ofsted inspectors.

A Burnley primary school has been rated as inadequate across the board and placed in special measures by Ofsted inspectors.


Inspectors said that all areas of Casterton Primary, from the effectiveness of leadership and management to early years provision, was not up to scratch.

The shock report, published this week after the inspection in June, criticised the leadership of the school as not being rigorous enough in implementing improvements across the school.

The report said that the quality of teaching and pupils’ learning and progress was not monitored and this resulted in students making insufficient progress.

Lead inspector Janet Lunn said the curriculum lacked “breadth and depth” and the quality of teaching was too variable.

Mrs Lunn said: “In some classes teaching does not meet the needs of pupils and the work of teaching assistants does not help pupils to make the progress they should during lessons.”

The inspection found that governors and the headteacher are not holding senior leaders to account, additional funding for disadvantaged pupils is not used effectively and, as it is poorly monitored, these students are not making enough progress in all subjects so they can catch up with other pupils nationally.

Safeguarding came under fire too and the report said that policies and practises are not up to date and weak record keeping means procedures to tackle potential bullying issues are not totally effective.

Standards of achievement in reading, writing and mathematics were described as “too low,” particularly for pupils at the end of key stage two.

In 2016 attainment in reading was significantly below the level found in other schools nationally, with less than half of the pupils in year six reaching the expected standard.

Weaknesses were also found in early years provision with children being too reliant on adult direction.

On a positive note, the report did point out that children’s achievement in early years has improved recently and phonics scores are now in line with the national average.
Inspectors said sports funding was well used across the school with provision for improving pupils’ levels of fitness.

Breakfast provision for disadvantaged children was praised along with the strong relationships the school has with parents.

Parents spoke positively about how they are encouraged to talk to staff and feel they are listened to.
Pupils with special needs are also supported.

Headteacher Paul Whaling said: "While we are disappointed with the outcome, we accept the inspectors' findings and, with the support of the local authority, have developed an action plan to address the issues that have been identified.

"The inspection took place in early June and we have already completed many of the actions including those relating to safeguarding issues. The action plan continues to help us to focus on improving pupils' outcomes which we are monitoring robustly.

"The leadership team is committed to working together effectively to drive improvements with the full support of the staff and governors.

"We were pleased that the inspectors found many things to praise about our school, especially our support of pupils with special educational needs, our early years teaching, the good range of extra-curricular sports activities provided, the opportunities for parents to be involved in their children's education and that children are happy and enjoy being at school."

"We are determined to build on our many strengths, to tackle those areas which need improvement, and ensure that our children receive the quality of education that they deserve."