School '˜requires improvement' as Ofsted criticises '˜variable' teaching

Teaching at Stoke Mandeville Combined School remains '˜too variable', according to Ofsted '“ though inspectors praised the great behaviour of pupils.

Inspectors said the school ‘requires improvement’, a downgrading from their 2011 ‘good’ rating.

The teaching of writing skills was particularly criticised, and this is holding back pupils’ attainment.

The education watchdog said that ‘on occasion, teachers’ comments show weak subject knowledge or lack focus on the purpose of the work being assessed. This is most notable in comments about writing’.

They said that “pupils’ overall progress in reading, writing and mathematics was slower than that of other similar pupils nationally”.

“However, from broadly average starting points, pupils’ progress was in line with minimum expectations and, consequently, the proportion achieving Level 4 and above was average.”

Level 4 is the average expected of a typical 11 year old.

In a statement the school said: “We are pleased that the many strengths of the school were identified and that the personal development, behaviour and welfare were judged as good and that this is considered to be a ‘credit to the school’.

“The school and Governors are disappointed with the final outcome but Ofsted’s findings mirror the priorities for school improvement identified by the headteacher and governing Body and confirm the progress made in the last eighteen months.

“We are committed to ensuring that the school does the best it can for all its children and the Ofsted report gives greater impetus to the school to build on its areas of strengths and effectively tackle identified improvement priorities.”

The school has 207 pupils and Eileen Stewart has been its headteacher since 2014.

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