Chapel Primary School placed in special measures

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An action plan has been put in place to improve standards at Chapel-en-le-Frith CofE Primary School after it was put in special measures.

Inspectors from Ofsted visited the school on Warmbrook Road and found many positives, including:

• Children get off to a good start in the Early Years Foundation Stage

• Pupils enjoy school and feel safe

• Attendance is above average.

But they placed the school in special measures to address weaknesses in teaching, learning and leadership.

Although disappointed by the inspectors’ conclusions, staff and governors responded quickly to the report and are working closely with Derbyshire County Council to raise standards.

Headteacher Trevor Smith said: “We’re obviously very disappointed that we’ve been placed in special measures and are shocked by the conclusions.

“But I’m confident we can address the issues highlighted in the report with clear plans for what needs to be done.

“We’ve already taken firm, positive action and improvements to the quality of teaching and learning in all classes have begun.

“And while I believe some of the findings fly in the face of our own evidence that shows our pupils make good progress here and enjoy what they do, we will continue to press ahead to make sure our children get the best education possible.”

Cllr Jim Coyle, the council’s Deputy Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said he was also surprised to find inspectors had placed the school in special measures.

He said: “I know this school and was quite shocked to see the report’s conclusions.

“It is always a difficult time when a school is placed in special measures but it is especially hard when a school looks to be performing well.

“I would like to reassure parents that our education advisors are working closely with the school’s headteacher and governors and I support all the hard work being done by the school, staff and governors to ensure all the children get the education they deserve.”

The large school, which has 460 pupils aged three to 11, was inspected over two days in October. It has a higher than average number of children with special educational needs and has a specially resourced provision for children with special needs.

Following their inspection, inspectors recommended the school:

• Improve the quality of teaching

• Raise levels of achievement

• Improve leadership and management to better assess the school’s performance.

Mr Smith added: “We have some very recent data that shows our pupils are making good progress and we are working hard to ensure that continues.

“The inspectors recognise that children enjoy coming to school and feel safe and we will continue to drive up achievement.

“We also have a strong community of parents who I know will work well with the school to drive up standards.

“Together we are determined to look ahead and continue to put pupils and learning at the heart of our future vision for the school.”