Inspectors call for improvements at village school

Debden Primary School. Photo: Google Street View.

Debden Primary School. Photo: Google Street View. - Credit: Archant

Ofsted inspectors say a school in Debden ‘requires improvement’.

The Debden Church of England Primary Academy, based in High Street, Debden, received a 'requires improvement' rating for its overall effectiveness.

It follows an Ofsted inspection on October 9-10, which concluded the school requires improvement for the quality of education, leadership and management and early years of provision.

The school was awarded 'good' for behaviour and attitudes and for personal development.

It was the first inspection the school faced, after having opened its doors to children on January 1, 2017. The academy replaced the Debden Church of England Primary School and has had a new head teacher since September 2019.

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The report revealed a lack of encouragement towards pupils reading a variety of texts and a 'disorganised' and 'insufficient' teaching process.

The report said: "Leaders do not plan or monitor reading and writing in enough detail. Teachers, therefore, do not make sure the work they set follows on appropriately from what pupils have learned in the past."

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The report reads: "Leaders should devise and implement clear plans which ensure pupils' reading and writing develop well from the time they join the school to the time they leave.

"Curriculum plans for some subjects, such as history and geography, are very new. Senior and middle leaders should ensure these are implemented and reviewed to ensure they help pupils secure in-depth knowledge of a broad range of subjects."

In fact, the curriculum plans for history and geography were described as still 'being developed' by inspectors.

The report highlighted a lack of staff training, which negatively impacted on children's development: "Provision in early years is not good enough.

"Staff are not well-trained, have not established basic routines and do not ensure that children's understanding develops well. Senior leaders should make sure staff have the training and skills they need to support children to behave and learn well across the areas of early learning."

A statement from the school's governors and trustees said: "Debden Primary Academy has welcomed a new head teacher in September and has set out an exciting programme of improvement and development for the next few years. This plan particularly highlights the focus on developing strong subject leaders, as well as further enhancing our curriculum design in identified subject areas.

"Ofsted inspectors visited the school in early October to carry out an inspection. The report acknowledged the significant improvements made since the new head teacher's arrival and the positive response from parents. It also commended the children's behaviour and personal development.

"The governors, while disappointed with both the timing and final outcome of the report, were pleased that the recommendations matched those which they had already identified and included within the school development plan."

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