School has measures in place to protect pupils


Pupils at a Burnley primary school are safe and happy and clear systems are in place for their protection.

That was the verdict of Ofsted inspectors who carried out a monitoring inspection at Stoneyholme Community Primary School in response to a complaint which raised wider concerns about pupils safety and well being.

In a report published this week inspectors said that staff had responded appropriately to a serious incident at the school last year and used the experience to re-consider procedures for keeping pupils safe. Headteacher Mrs Lisa Davison and other senior leaders have had their training refreshed to check government guidelines are being followed when appointing new staff. Almost a third of the governing body are also trained in the area so there is a pool of expertise to assist in making the right decisions about adults who want to work at the school.

Risk assessments have been updated so that staff know individual pupils are safe when working with adults in specially designed rooms. Inspectors said this also helped to protect adults from unfounded allegations.

Ofsted’s senior leader with responsiblity for integration, inclusion and child protection has reviewed the school’s policy and system for protecting the most vulnerable children and this, coupled with Mrs Davison’s clear direction to staff, mean that child protection is everyone’s responsibility and adults know they have to report concerns immediately.

The school has clear systems in place to identify any pupils at risk or need extra help to cope with challenging circumstances in or outside school.

Records show that serious behaviour incidents are escalated to the highest levels. Governors are kept up to date with issues surrounding pupils’ safety along with regular reports on behaviour, bullying and racist incidents. But Ofsted has recommended that the role of the governing body should be strengthened in checking the impact and effectiveness of the school’s arrangement for keeping students safe.

Pupils told Ofsted they did not think anything needed to be changed to make their time at school happier or safer and they were full of praise for teachers. Inspectors, who described the children as loyal, said they behaved well and worked together without any difficulty, showing each other respect and consideration.

Pupils themselves said behaviour in school was good and poor behaviour hardly ever got in the way of their learning.

Priorities for further improvement, according to Ofsted, are to develop pupils understanding of homophobic bullying and collate and analyse records on less serious behaviour incidents to identify any patterns for individuals or groups of pupils.

Mrs Davison said she was pleased that Ofsted found that Stoneyholme was a school that kept its children safe. She said: “We do as much as we can to make our children feel that there is always someone to listen to them and take them seriously, and it’s clear that the inspector liked our ‘Sparkle Box’ into which children put their names if they want to talk to an adult.

“Following an incident related to the school last year, we took the opportunity to strengthen our safeguarding procedures even further and we have a strong school ethos that child protection is everybody’s business.

“Our children’s safety and security is of paramount importance to us and it is heartening to know that our school is a place where children feel safe.”