An Eastbourne school has been deemed ‘inadequate’ by Ofsted after a recent inspection.
Ocklynge Junior School, in Victoria Drive, was found to be inadequate overall but beginning to make progress under its new headteacher, in a recently published report by the school standards organisation.
The school’s previous inspection had found that its overall effectiveness was ‘good’.
But the most recent report showed that while its ‘leadership and management’ and ‘personal development, behaviour and welfare’ were judged to require improvement, its quality of teaching, and the outcomes for pupils were inadequate.
Among the report’s findings were that disadvantaged pupils do not do as well as other pupils, too many pupils who have special educational needs and/or disabilities do not make good progress, and teachers do not know enough about how well pupils are doing.
It also found that teaching is often pitched at the wrong level for the class and feedback does not result in improvements to pupils’ work, but noted that the new headteacher has not had enough time to correct “the many aspects of its work that are inadequate”.
However, the report also acknowledged the school’s strengths, saying that the new curriculum is “imaginative and interesting,” and “inspiring better attitudes to learning,” and that as such it makes a “strong contribution to most pupils’ well-being and their personal, spiritual, moral, social and cultural development”.
It said that the new headteacher, Jon Reynard, who joined in Easter 2016, is fully aware of the scale of the school’s “historical and current weaknesses”, and knows what to do to put things right, noting that his actions had already improved attendance.
In a statement to parents published on the school website the headteacher said, “I understand that this judgement will come as a shock to many of you.
“While the overall outcome is very serious and leaves us with a great deal of work to do we know what the issues are and what we need to do to improve.
“We are already acting swiftly and decisively to make the necessary improvements.”
The headteacher acknowledged that when a school is judged inadequate the Government forces a conversion into an academy and said Ocklynge School will be required to convert as soon as possible.
The school is thought to be the largest junior school in Europe.