Big improvements by Westmere Primary School at Sutton Bridge have not been enough for it to leap up an Ofsted category.
A previous inspection in 2010 described the school as “satisfactory” – and it remains there following an Ofsted visit at the beginning of March, although the category itself is now “requires improvement’”
Among bright spots are that the behaviour and safety of pupils are labelled “good” as is the leadership and management of the school.
Inspectors say the school has three main strengths:
l Pupils’ behaviour has improved dramatically and is now good;
l School leaders have used additional funding “creatively and effectively” to boost the performance of children eligible for free school meals;
l Leaders are rigorous in checking pupils’ progress and the quality of teaching.
But the inspectors also spell out why the school is not good in five key findings.
These say in recent years pupils’ progress has been slow in all subjects, pupils do not practise their writing skills enough, teaching “has yet to secure sustained good or better progress”, pupils do not have enough opportunities to work alone and develop initiative, pupils are not good at planning science investigations and governors are “not sufficiently involved in setting teachers’ targets to improve their performance”.
Since the previous inspection, Westmere has joined a federation with Holbeach St Marks and Gedney Drove End schools.
Executive headteacher Karyn Wiles said: “Governors were unable to demonstrate their involvement in setting teachers’ targets due to the 90 per cent change in teaching staff since the last inspection.”
She said inspectors were impressed by the creative use of pupil premium money – given to the school for those who have free lunches and those pupils were ahead of others in maths by about a term.
Leaders of the school, including governors, were “excited” to have rapid developments acknowledged and were continuing their journey to an ‘outstanding’ rating.