Ofsted 'cannot say' when it will re-inspect Mackie Hill Primary School after MP Mary Creagh's intervention

Mackie Hill was placed in special measures in January 2018, after Ofsted inspected the school the previous month.
Mackie Hill was placed in special measures in January 2018, after Ofsted inspected the school the previous month.

Ofsted has said it cannot confirm when it will re-inspect Mackie Hill Primary School.

The education watchdog wrote to Wakefield MP Mary Creagh, after she called for it to re-visit the Crigglestone primary that it rated inadequate in January 2018.

Ms Creagh has said she will continue to fight against the academy order.

Ms Creagh has said she will continue to fight against the academy order.

Ms Creagh and parents connected with Mackie Hill are fighting against the government's plans to academise it, and believe that if Ofsted take it out of special measures that will allow the school to remain under the control of the council.

But Ofsted says it cannot put a date on when they will return to Mackie Hill, beyond confirming that they will re-inspect within three years of giving it an inadequate rating.

That would mean the school may have to wait until December 2020 for a new grade.

In her letter to Ms Creagh, Emma Ing, Ofsted's regional director for the north-east and Yorkshire, said: "When a school is found to be inadequate, it will usually receive another full inspection within 36 months.

Parents have consistently fought against the academisation.

Parents have consistently fought against the academisation.

“It will also receive monitoring visits from Her Majesty's Inspectorate (HMI) to determine the progress made towards becoming a good school.

"As I am sure you understand it is not possible for me to confirm when we plan to carry out any further monitoring or full inspections of the school.

"The decisions on how to improve a school as a result of an Ofsted judgement and decisions about the schools’ management structure are made by the Regional Schools Commissioner and the DfE, not by Ofsted.

"We, rightly, have absolutely no involvement in that process."

Schools generally receive 24 hours notice from Ofsted before inspectors visit.

Ms Creagh said Ofsted's letter was "very disappointing".

Writing on Facebook, she said: "They won't confirm when the next full inspection will be, and we may have to wait until December 2020.

"I will be working with the school to try and halt the academy order as soon as possible."

Ofsted's letter in full

I am writing to you regarding a recent article in the Pontefract and Castleford Express about Mackie Hill Primary School. I thought it might help if I set out what Ofsted does once it finds a school to be inadequate.

When the school was inspected in December 2017, it was, like all our school inspections, inspected in line with our Common Inspection Framework and School Inspection Handbook.

When a school is found to be inadequate, it will usually receive another full inspection within 36 months.

It will also receive monitoring visits from HMI to determine the progress made towards becoming a good school.

Following its inadequate judgement, Mackie Hill Primary School received an (sic) monitoring visit in December 2018 where we found the school was making progress. As with all our reports, this report is freely available on our website.

“As I am sure you understand it is not possible for me to confirm when we plan to carry out any further monitoring or full inspections of the school.

“The decisions on how to improve a school as a result of an Ofsted judgement and decisions about the schools’ management structure are made by the Regional Schools Commissioner and the DfE, not by Ofsted. We, rightly, have absolutely no involvement in that process.

I would be happy to meet you if you would like to discuss the inspections in more detail.

If so, perhaps your office could get in touch to find a mutually agreeable time.

Local Democracy Reporting Service