School found to be '˜inadequate'

A school at the centre of an education shake-up requires special measures, according to inspectors.

Leigh CE Primary School
Leigh CE Primary School

A new Ofsted report for Leigh CE Primary School found some pupils did not feel safe and the school’s leaders had lost the trust and support of staff and parents.

It was judged to be “inadequate”, with a host of recommendations made for how it can improve.

The Ofsted report has now been published following a visit by inspectors in July.

The school was known as Leigh CE Junior School, but was renamed when it opened after the summer holiday and now takes younger children as part of a shake-up of education in Leigh.

Ofsted inspectors found the school’s leaders had lost the trust, confidence and support of staff and parents; governors had failed to fulfil their statutory duties; senior leaders had failed to reverse the decline in the school’s performance; and staff did not have clearly defined roles and responsibilities.

The report said: “Lack of professionalism and poor communication by senior leaders have resulted in low staff morale, conflicts between staff and discontent among parents.”

The inspectors said the curriculum was “fragmented and does not meet pupils’ needs”.

Less than half of the pupils in year six had achieved the Government’s expected standards in reading, writing and maths, the report said.

They found the behaviour of some children to be “overly boisterous” at times and pupils said that too often they “end up fighting or falling out, rather than resolving issues peaceably”.

There were also concerns about pupils’ welfare.

The report said: “Some pupils feel they are not safe. They say that they felt scared when they heard about the more serious behaviour incidents that have taken place in school this year. While the school invited in the local police community support officer to talk to pupils, this did not allay the fears of all pupils. Some parents also say that the school does not keep children safe.”

Earlier this year, allegations were made that pupils were put into a cupboard by a member of staff.

The school’s previous Ofsted report, published in 2013, classed it as “good”.

James Winterbottom, director for children’s services at Wigan Council, said: “We want to reassure parents that we are working closely with the governing body and Manchester Anglican diocese to address the issues raised by the Ofsted report from the inspection which took place in July. This work has been ongoing over the summer holidays and has seen an experienced local headteacher take up a role as executive headteacher at the school.

“Our priority is to make sure that pupils, parents and staff are well supported so that Leigh CE Primary School makes the necessary rapid improvements.

“The report recognises the recent improvements in the governing body and the hard work and commitment of staff in the school. We are confident that this provides a strong basis for quick improvements under the renewed, strong and experienced leadership now in place.”