Primary school in Pendle appeals after being placed in special measures

PRIMARY school bosses have launched a challenge against education watchdog Ofsted after inspectors placed it in special measures.

Brierfield Walter Street Primary School dropped down two ratings - from good - in 2009 to be placed in the bottom category.

Headteacher Sarah Watson had been in charge at both inspections.

Only a handful of primary schools in the county are in special measures and challenges to inspections are rare.

The school, which was placed into special measures when inspectors visited in November, is making an official representation to Ofsted to dispute some of the findings of the report.

Inspectors said that pupil attainment, their work based skills learning and attendance was inadequate.

But Miss Watson said that the data showed that their pupils' progress was above the national average.

Inspector Marie Cordey said: “Pupils’ attainment has been low for too long. School leaders and the governing body are aware of this but evaluations of the school’s performance are over-generous.

“Weaknesses in teaching have not been tackled successfully. The curriculum is ineffective in its core business of improving pupils’ basic skills in English and mathematics and attendance is stubbornly low.”

The rating was given despite 97 per cent of parents say they are happy with the school and that their children enjoy going there.

Headteacher Sarah Watson said: "Naturally we're disappointed by the report from Ofsted, and we are concerned that the judgement seems to have been based on partial or inaccurate information.

"To give one example: the government use the percentage of pupils making good progress between Year 2 and Year 6 as a measure of success. National averages this summer were 82 per cent in maths and 83 per cent in English, but Walter Street children exceeded both of these, with 91per cent in maths and 95 per cent in English.

"Pupils' achievement is judged both on how well they do in tests and on the progress they make while they're at school. We've worked hard to ensure that our children make good progress and do well in tests, and this is shown by rising test results for all age groups over the past three years.

"I hope we can resolve these issues. In the meantime, we will working hard alongside our advisers to address! the other improvements suggested by Ofsted."

Comments (11)

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2:11pm Fri 20 Jan 12

St.R says...

Doesn't surprise me. The school spends far too much time teaching english to those with 'other' languages. It's bound to reflect, it only surprises me it hasn't been picked up before.
Doesn't surprise me. The school spends far too much time teaching english to those with 'other' languages. It's bound to reflect, it only surprises me it hasn't been picked up before. St.R

4:01pm Fri 20 Jan 12

nelson people says...

Forgot to add that some schools within NELSON with similar intakes and circumstances on the basis of this school being placed in special measures WOULD end up being CLOSED DOWN completely. Their results are much worse.

The two in mind are

1. MARSDEN COMMUNITY SCHOOL,
PERCY ST, NELSON

2. BRADLEY PRIMARY SCHOOL, DOVER ST, NELSON
Forgot to add that some schools within NELSON with similar intakes and circumstances on the basis of this school being placed in special measures WOULD end up being CLOSED DOWN completely. Their results are much worse. The two in mind are 1. MARSDEN COMMUNITY SCHOOL, PERCY ST, NELSON 2. BRADLEY PRIMARY SCHOOL, DOVER ST, NELSON nelson people

4:12pm Fri 20 Jan 12

loss of confidence parent says...

Bad teachers
bad teaching assistants
bad governors
bad leadership
all this all people know happen at Marsden School last 5 years.
Inspector go there and check now. Many people agree with all this.
Bad teachers bad teaching assistants bad governors bad leadership all this all people know happen at Marsden School last 5 years. Inspector go there and check now. Many people agree with all this. loss of confidence parent

4:19pm Fri 20 Jan 12

Izanears says...

There is no doubt about it, one must have a certain amount of sympathy for the teachers. Having to try to teach in a school where the vast majority of pupils do not have English as their first language, and getting very little support from parents when it comes to attendance and unauthorised lenghty absences, and governers who are more interested in playing a personal power game, must be soul destroying.
There is no doubt about it, one must have a certain amount of sympathy for the teachers. Having to try to teach in a school where the vast majority of pupils do not have English as their first language, and getting very little support from parents when it comes to attendance and unauthorised lenghty absences, and governers who are more interested in playing a personal power game, must be soul destroying. Izanears

7:05pm Fri 20 Jan 12

justicejoan says...

It is rather well known in teaching circles amongst the "chatterring classes" that schools where the intake is almost 100% asian acqiuire and recruit

*inadequate headteachers
* poor quality teachers
* hopeless governors
* suffer from poor leadership
* poor chairs of governors

Until these core issues are addressed by removing suc incompetent and inadequate people then the communities in which these schools are located will suffer for generations to come.
The councillors and communities of BRADLEY WARD and WALVERDEN WARD need to request the inspector from OFSTED to investigate both
Marsden Community School and Bradley Primary School and their FAILINGS over the last 7 years.
Ultimately the chairs of governors of these schools and the headteachers need to resign and allow good teachers and leaders to improve these schools.
Who are the chair of governors of these schools?
It is rather well known in teaching circles amongst the "chatterring classes" that schools where the intake is almost 100% asian acqiuire and recruit *inadequate headteachers * poor quality teachers * hopeless governors * suffer from poor leadership * poor chairs of governors Until these core issues are addressed by removing suc incompetent and inadequate people then the communities in which these schools are located will suffer for generations to come. The councillors and communities of BRADLEY WARD and WALVERDEN WARD need to request the inspector from OFSTED to investigate both Marsden Community School and Bradley Primary School and their FAILINGS over the last 7 years. Ultimately the chairs of governors of these schools and the headteachers need to resign and allow good teachers and leaders to improve these schools. Who are the chair of governors of these schools? justicejoan

7:38pm Fri 20 Jan 12

huss says...

Good comments by "nelson people", you said what most others already know but will not say out loud. Political correctness gone mad.
Google search
"Rose Taylor Marsden School" for some info that will shock parents of children at Marsden School.
Good comments by "nelson people", you said what most others already know but will not say out loud. Political correctness gone mad. Google search "Rose Taylor Marsden School" for some info that will shock parents of children at Marsden School. huss

9:05pm Fri 20 Jan 12

nelsoncouncillor says...

In answer to"justicejoan" chair of governors at Marsden Community School is Dorothy MacInnes. I am led to believe by my political colleagues she was a teacher for 20 years at Marsden School. The reason for the poor leadership by Mrs MacInnes maybe the conflict of interests!! An outsider who lives within the local area with no employment interests with the school should have been chair of governors.
As for Marsden School the issues within this report apply equally to Marsden School with the addition of VERY POOR RESULTS despite the millions of pounds pent within the school over the last 10 years.
The current head is very inexperienced and lacks credibility to effect change and turn the school around. That said the poor level of teachers at the school contribute to the poor outcomes for the last 10 years.
My political colleagues are aware of this.
The councillors and their Walverden Ward electorate, who make the bulk of parents at the school and who are responsible to the people should make efforts to get OFSTED to inspect the school and its leadership.
This has been raised with them.

They are
Cllr Mohammed Khalid (mohammed.khalid@pen
dle.gov.uk)

Cllr Julie Henderson
(julie.henderson@pen
dle.gov.uk)

Cllr Abdul Aziz
(pendlelabour@btconn
ect.com)

County Cllr George Adam
(george.adam@lancash
ire.gov.uk)
In answer to"justicejoan" chair of governors at Marsden Community School is Dorothy MacInnes. I am led to believe by my political colleagues she was a teacher for 20 years at Marsden School. The reason for the poor leadership by Mrs MacInnes maybe the conflict of interests!! An outsider who lives within the local area with no employment interests with the school should have been chair of governors. As for Marsden School the issues within this report apply equally to Marsden School with the addition of VERY POOR RESULTS despite the millions of pounds pent within the school over the last 10 years. The current head is very inexperienced and lacks credibility to effect change and turn the school around. That said the poor level of teachers at the school contribute to the poor outcomes for the last 10 years. My political colleagues are aware of this. The councillors and their Walverden Ward electorate, who make the bulk of parents at the school and who are responsible to the people should make efforts to get OFSTED to inspect the school and its leadership. This has been raised with them. They are Cllr Mohammed Khalid (mohammed.khalid@pen dle.gov.uk) Cllr Julie Henderson (julie.henderson@pen dle.gov.uk) Cllr Abdul Aziz (pendlelabour@btconn ect.com) County Cllr George Adam (george.adam@lancash ire.gov.uk) nelsoncouncillor

3:59pm Sun 22 Jan 12

whymeagain says...

No matter how bad Waltet street is I would rather have my children go there then some area's of the country namely Burnley in the Racist scum infested schools we have there.Yes Walter street has many a problem but its not as bad as this article makes it out to be.

We all know any news that puts Asians in abad light gets "Top Billing" in this paper and also the Nelson Leader,Its nothing New!:-)
No matter how bad Waltet street is I would rather have my children go there then some area's of the country namely Burnley in the Racist scum infested schools we have there.Yes Walter street has many a problem but its not as bad as this article makes it out to be. We all know any news that puts Asians in abad light gets "Top Billing" in this paper and also the Nelson Leader,Its nothing New!:-) whymeagain

5:52pm Mon 23 Jan 12

Desi nelsoner says...

'nelsoncouncillor' would you please identify yourself from the list of councillors you have given?
'nelsoncouncillor' would you please identify yourself from the list of councillors you have given? Desi nelsoner

6:15pm Mon 23 Jan 12

Desi nelsoner says...

Correct me if I'm wrong but isn't this article about 'Walter street'? If so why is everyone so obsessed with Marsden?
Correct me if I'm wrong but isn't this article about 'Walter street'? If so why is everyone so obsessed with Marsden? Desi nelsoner

6:41pm Sat 11 Feb 12

nelson_alive says...

I would like to add to the above debate. Many people have commented that children who attend schools where the majority of pupils are predominantly from the ethnic minority don’t achieve well. My children attend Reedley primary school and have consistently achieved above the national average. The school this year achieved 88% Sats pass rate which again is well above the national average and much higher than most other primary schools in the Pendle area. This does show however that in order to achieve the school requires an experienced head, committed governors and committed parents.
I would like to add to the above debate. Many people have commented that children who attend schools where the majority of pupils are predominantly from the ethnic minority don’t achieve well. My children attend Reedley primary school and have consistently achieved above the national average. The school this year achieved 88% Sats pass rate which again is well above the national average and much higher than most other primary schools in the Pendle area. This does show however that in order to achieve the school requires an experienced head, committed governors and committed parents. nelson_alive

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