Burnley primary school must improve

Requires improvement: St Stephen's Primary School in Burnley
Requires improvement: St Stephen's Primary School in Burnley

A Burnley primary school has been told it needs to improve following a visit from Ofsted inspectors.

St Stephen’s Primary School, in Woodgrove Road, had previously been rated good but following a visit from inspectors last month it was told it requires improvement.

Inspectors found pupils make average progress but not enough make good progress, especially in writing. Teaching was said to need improvement as it does not challenge the most able pupils. Teachers do not always give pupils precise guidance on how to improve their work, pupils are not given enough chances to practise their writing skills across a range of subjects.

Plans put in place to improve the school were criticised for not being detailed enough to help leaders measure how it is doing, while the school’s tracking system was said to not allow leaders to follow the progress of groups of pupils closely enough.

Inspectors said senior and middle leaders do not check the impact of their actions regularly enough and teaching and pupils’ progress are not improving quickly enough.

The report said:“The progress of pupils is uneven across school. In Key Stage 1 pupils generally make good progress in reading and maths, but in writing too few make good progress. In Key Stage 2, progress in reading continues to be good but pupils do not make the progress they should in writing. In some year groups, pupils do not make the good progress of which they are capable.”

Despite stating the school needs improvement, inspectors highlighted elements of St Stephen’s which are good, including progress in reading, quality of some teaching, behaviour and safety of pupils, headteacher and other senior leaders are passionate about the school. Pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development was also said to be good.

Inspectors said the school needs to improve the quality of teaching, improve the quality of leadership and management and the achievement of pupils.

Mr Ian Wilson, headteacher at St Stephen’s, said: “While we acknowledge we need to improve on some areas, we are pleased to note Ofsted identified many strengths. We were particularly pleased the inspectors noted children enjoyed coming to school, their behaviour was good, children felt safe and made good progress in reading. We have received our key stage 2 results which show children in Year 6 are making excellent progress in numeracy and literacy. We will take note of the points Ofsted make and our priority will be to make necessary improvements to ensure our pupils receive the highest standard of teaching.”