Weak teaching and ineffective curriculum lead to Aylesbury primary school being put into special measures

Elmhurst School, Aylesbury
Elmhurst School, Aylesbury

An Aylesbury primary school has been put into special measures after it was branded as inadequate by Ofsted inspectors.

Elmhurst School has been slammed by Ofsted for its ineffective curriculum, weak teaching, persistent absence rates and the fact that too many pupils are leaving the primary school without reaching the required levels in english and maths.

The report does acknowledge the school has undergone a turbulent period of leadership.

The headteacher is currently on maternity leave and so the school is being led by an interim head of school and a part-time interim executive headteacher, who is also the main head at another primary school in the area.

According to inspectors, the school, which has 460 pupils on its roll, provides 'a poor quality of education' for pupils.

Inspectors say that teaching is inadequate because 'it does not enable pupils to develop the subject-specific skills and knowledge they need to make progress.'

Teaching is Key Stage One is described as 'slightly stronger' than Key Stage Two but the reports acknowledges there is too much inconsistency across the age groups.

The report says that behaviour needs to be improved stating that on several occasions they observed that 'when the pace is slow or when pupils are not given work that they find challenging enough, they lose concentration, become noisy and some disrupt others’ learning.'

Regarding where pupils are at when they finish primary school inspectors conclude 'the majority of pupils leave the school without the knowledge, skills and vocabulary needed to make a good start at secondary school.'

Ofsted do praise safeguarding at the school saying 'pupils are well cared for and feel safe.'

Bucks County Council say that the school will be joining a multi-academy trust in an effort to bring about improvements.

Interim executive headteacher Marcus Faulkner said: "Although the Ofsted result is of course disappointing for the whole school community, we’re taking firm action to ensure that improvements are made as quickly as possible.

"Our leadership team will be working with Bucks County Council to implement the recommendations of the report.

"Together we can address the identified weaknesses in teaching and the curriculum so that learning for our pupils is of the highest quality possible."

Chair of Governors David Gamble said: "While the governors acknowledge Ofsted's findings, we mustn’t lose sight of the strengths of the school, such as our strong school community which nurtures and supports the children and keeps them safe."

"Bucks County Council have given us clear guidance on how the school can improve.

"We’re committed to working with their advisors and a multi-academy trust, who together will provide the skills and experience needed to implement the improvements that will move the school quickly out of special measures.

"This is very positive, and good news for the whole school community, especially our children."