City primary school rated ‘inadequate’

Kingsham Primary School.14LAOCT13a-1 PPP-141013-185151006
Kingsham Primary School.14LAOCT13a-1 PPP-141013-185151006
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Parents have been reassured after a primary school was rated as ‘inadequate’ by Ofsted inspectors – two grades lower than its previous rating.

Concern has been expressed about Ofsted’s findings but Kingsham Primary School in Hay Road, Chichester has responded saying ‘rigorous plans are already being implemented’.

The primary school received a rating of four, the lowest out of a four-grade system in its Ofsted report published on October 2.

The school was previously rated as ‘good’ when it was inspected in 2010.

The inspector found the school was inadequate in the areas of achievement of pupils, quality of teaching, leadership and management.

The school opened as an academy in September under new leadership and is part of the University of Chichester Academy Trust (CAT).

Headteacher Pete Fleming left the school in the summer holidays and Jane McDowell is acting as the interim head teacher.

A group of parents have sent a letter to the Observer which said they were concerned management would not be able to turn the school around.

It said: “We have no confidence that the current senior staff or governors can fix the problems that Ofsted refer to as these problems have been known about for years and years.”

A statement from the school however said: “CAT has appointed an experienced and well-regarded headteacher, Jane McDowell, to lead Kingsham Primary School for this full academic year.

“Miss McDowell has assured parents that rigorous plans are already being implemented to focus time, attention and resources on a Journey to Excellence Plan that will 
ensure that the academy’s aspirations for each child become a reality over the coming months.

The Ofsted report said ‘staff have little confidence in the leadership and morale is low’ while 
criticising ‘too much weak teaching’.

A spokesperson for CAT said the school had invited parents to two meetings this week to air their concerns.

Colin Simmons, chairman of governors of the school when it was inspected, will also be at the meeting.

He said: “The governors were disappointed to read the report conclusions, however the areas highlighted by inspectors had been already identified and were an important factor in the decision of the then school governing body and SLT to seek academy status.

“Happily, we find ourselves this term newly invigorated, excited to be part of the University of Chichester Academy Trust, and with improvement and development plans that even just a few weeks into the new school year are already working well.”