Wigan school boss 'immensely proud' despite drop in Ofsted rating to "needs improvement"

A school in Wigan has seen its Ofsted rating dropped following criticism of its quality of education.
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Marsh Green Primary School did not quite hit the mark to maintain its “Good” rating with the schools watchdog despite attaining “Good” status in most categories of the inspection.

A report from Ofsted found that some pupils, including those with special educational needs or disabilities (SEND), do not achieve as well as they should.

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The inspectors said pupils were delivered "weaker curriculums” in reading and mathematics in the higher age groups.

Marsh Green Primary School headteacher Gill LeighMarsh Green Primary School headteacher Gill Leigh
Marsh Green Primary School headteacher Gill Leigh
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However, early years and Year 1 curriculums were praised in the report. Following the inspection, which took place back in June 2023 at the Kitt Green Road site, the weaknesses of the school were attributed to staffing instability – which is believed to be improving now.

“In recent years, instabilities in staffing have hindered leaders’ work to improve the curriculum for pupils,” the Ofsted report reads. “However, more recently, staffing has stabilised and leaders’ intentions for the curriculum are becoming clearer.

“Subject leaders know what is working well and the weaknesses that they want to address in the curriculum. In the main, leaders have thought carefully about the knowledge and skills that they want pupils to learn and the order in which this content should be taught.”

Marsh Green Primary School has lost its "Good" raing from OfstedMarsh Green Primary School has lost its "Good" raing from Ofsted
Marsh Green Primary School has lost its "Good" raing from Ofsted

Despite the drop in rating, the school was still described by inspectors as a place where ”pupils are well mannered and they extend a warm welcome to visitors.”

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Headteacher Gill Leigh said: “Staff at the school remain immensely proud of all pupils and their achievements. There have been many changes and challenges over the past few years, which the whole school community has responded to.

“Staff have worked incredibly hard during this time, with children’s best interests at the heart of everything they do. A lot of work has taken place to improve the curriculum.

“Inspectors were fully supportive of this but feel the school needs a little more time to allow the changes to embed so that the impact of these changes can be seen. Leaders at the school have a robust plan in moving forwards and this was recognised by Ofsted.

“All the changes recommended by Ofsted had already been identified by the school and are currently being implemented. We remain committed to providing a quality education for all pupils, whilst responding to a wide range of needs.”

She went on to highlight some of the praise inspectors gave the school where staff “encourage a love of reading”.

The report described how “children get off to a flying start in the early years” and that “pupils have a strong understanding of fundamental British values.”

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