School encouraged by latest Ofsted review

JPCT 180913 Jolesfield Primary School. Photo by Derek Martin ENGPPP00320130918152214
JPCT 180913 Jolesfield Primary School. Photo by Derek Martin ENGPPP00320130918152214

A school in Partridge Green that has been placed in special measures following an Ofsted inspection said ‘important changes still need to be made’ but it is now ‘en route’.

At the Chanctonbury Local Committee (CLC) meeting on Wednesday (June 11), representatives from Jolesfield Church of England Primary School, in Littleworth Lane, including head teacher Sue Uff, were present to update councillors on their HMI (Her Majesty’s Inspector) investigation after it was ranked ‘inadequate’ in last year’s Ofsted report.

Chair of Governors, David Green, said that two inspections have been made by the HMI and an action plan had been implemented with positive results.

“We made sure the plan was sufficiently robust,” said Mr Green.”

HMI will conduct five inspections in total for the five terms of school.

“In the second term the HMI then judged the impact of the results of that action plan and I think it was very encouraging,” he said.

However, the HMI raised concern over the quality of teaching, but Mr Green said the school are willing to ‘hold up their hands’ to it.

He said: “He did have reservations and comment that some of the teaching was still a bit patchy and we threw up our hands and said yes there is something in that.

“We know that there are still important changes that need to be done, but I think we have a clear understanding of what to do and how we’re going to do it.”

The school is hoping to come out of special measures by Autumn this year.

“We think we’re now well en route. Sue is doing a sterling job, but it’s a team effort.”

Head teacher Sue Uff added: “The staff are dedicated to moving forward and out of special measures, and it’s been recognised by HMI.

“We have a goal to come out of special measures and become an outstanding school again. I’m very positive with where the school is going.”

The HMI’s update report said the school is ‘making reasonable progress’ and that the school can now ‘appoint newly qualified teachers’.

The report also stated that the school’s ‘response to recording [pupil] behaviour problems is now much more systematic’, but there are indications that there has not been enough improvement in the ‘day-to-day management of low-level behavioural issues’.

County councillor for the Pulborough division, Pat Arculus, asked the school representative to expand on this issue.

Mrs Uff said it is ‘being monitored by governors’ and the school has introduced the Green Balloon Initiative where children get to say how they feel pupils should behave in school and recommend the punishments.

Mr Green also said that the support of Upper Beeding Primary School Head Teacher Beck Linford has had a ‘major impact’ on the school.

A third inspection by the HMI is due soon. A school in special measures will have regular Ofsted inspections to monitor its improvement.

If the school fails to turn things around, senior managers and staff can be dismissed and the school governors replaced, and if poor performance continues the school may be closed.