North Wootton’s ‘disappointing’ Ofsted down to teacher recruitment difficulties

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A primary school head says difficulties in recruiting teachers to West Norfolk is one of the reasons behind a “disappointing” inspection report .

Ofsted inspectors have given North Wootton Primary School a “requires improvement” rating following the visit in May.

But the school was praised for its reception provision and Year 5 and 6 progress along with pupil behaviour and its “harmonious community.”

Headteacher Jonathan Williams is pleased that inspectors highlighted the school’s strengths, including a wide range of extra activities.

He said: “We are naturally disappointed that the school has been graded as ‘requires improvement’ again after all the hard work that has been done to improve outcomes for pupils. However, we do accept that the unusually high turnover of staff and the difficulty in recruiting in West Norfolk has had an impact on our overall grade.

“Ofsted recognised that even with all the recent staffing changes the school has maintained a very positive ethos and culture where staff and pupils create a warm trusting community in which good quality attitudes to learning and behaviour thrive.”

The report, which was published earlier this week, stated that pupils attainment was not improving fast enough and that the achievement of able youngsters is limited because the work is not hard enough.

It also states that new teachers do not have sufficient opportunity to learn from outstanding members.

The report stated: “Not all teachers ensure that pupils understand and deepen their knowledge. This means that a few pupils do not grasp key information effectively.”

It also states that subject leaders do not watch pupils achievements effectively.

The report states: “Some teachers do not have the depth of knowledge and understanding in mathematics to explain new work fully to pupils, or clarify when they are stuck. As a result, achievement requires improvement.”

It also stated that subject and phase leaders do not ensure that staff follow the learning policies and that writing standards are lower than they should be as activities are “narrow” and do not “enthuse” youngsters.