Inspectors have put a school, where they found the outdoor play area for reception children was unsafe, into ‘special measures.’
Snettisham Primary School had been rated ‘good’ at its previous inspection in November 2008 and an interim assessment in March 2012 said standards had been sustained. The school was rated ‘inadequate’ in a report just published.
The school’s permanent headteacher has been on sick leave since February and John Marshall-Grint, has been in post as interim headteacher since April.
The report said: “The interim headteacher recognises the areas of weakness identified by the inspection.
“However, necessary improvements in teaching and learning have not yet been made. This is due to the short time he has had in school and the fact that leadership and management skills of others are underdeveloped.”
Inspectors had to alert the school to dangers in the Reception play area at the time of their visit when they found “a lack of adequate fixed fencing, dangerous free-standing concrete slabs and features and inadequately fenced off maintenance work.”
Action was taken to safeguard pupils but inspectors pointed out that improvements to outdoor play areas for Reception were identified as a priority in 2008.
The report said the school needs to improve the quality of teaching and increase the rate of pupils’ progress, especially in writing and maths
It should also ensure pupils are fully aware of how to stay safe when using computers. The report said leaders and managers had failed to apply basic rules and regulations designed to keep pupils safe from harm.
The school was praised in some areas. The report said pupils benefited from a wide range of school trips and after-school activities and were well-taught in Reception.
It also said pupils’ moral awareness was strong and they enjoy school, behave well in the playground, care for each other and feel safe.
However, the report said pupils’ behaviour could not be said to be good because: “low expectations of what they can achieve in some lessons encourage chatting and low-level disruption.”
The report said that in too many lessons the tasks pupils were given were too easy and led some to lose interest.
Mr Marshall-Grint said: “There are areas where we need to improve and we had been working hard before the inspection to make some important changes such as restructuring and developing the governing body so they can support and challenge our work in school and help us to make the necessary improvements.
“In addition, we are developing the way we teach phonics, early years and the foundation stages and increasing the professional development of our staff, including lesson observations and creating specialist subject leaders to help lead the improvements in those key areas.
“I have been at the school since April and I know that everybody here wants to do well. I am confident that by pulling together and working closely with pupils, parents and the wider community we can make rapid improvements.”