Attainment of pupils ‘too low’

The achievement of pupils at a north Northumberland first school is ‘inadequate’, according to its latest Ofsted report.

As revealed in the Gazette last week, St Cuthbert’s RC First School in Amble is one of four schools in the county that requires special measures, following a string of inspections in October.

And the report for the school, released at the end of last week, provides further details on its perceived failings.

It explains that ‘too few pupils make expected or better progress over time’ and the progress boys make in writing is ‘particularly poor’.

Standards in writing and maths at the the end of Year 2 have been ‘too low for the past two years’, while the attainment of Year 4 pupils this year was also too low and ‘represented inadequate progress over time’.

Other issues raised include that pupils’ attendance in 2012/13 declined to below average and that teachers’ expectations of pupils are too low.

The way the school is managed is also highlighted, with the report saying that the governing body ‘has not been diligent in holding the school to account for pupils’ performance’ and that the local authority and the diocese ‘have not intervened to arrest the decline in the school’s performance early enough’.

However, some positive aspects are highlighted and behaviour and safety of pupils – one of four key areas – was ranked as requires improvement, one better than inadequate.

The report states that ‘the school, and acting headteacher, are well regarded by parents who are very supportive’ and describes it as a ‘caring school which looks after its pupils well’.

In a statement, chairman of the governing body, Paul Claridge, said: “St Cuthbert’s RC First School has faced many challenges recently, but has been working very hard to turn this situation around.

“Ofsted recognised it is a caring school and behaviour is good. We thank the parents who hold the school in high regard.”