Primary school is on the up, says new Ofsted report

Pupils' outcomes are improving at Sacred Heart in Hemsworth.
Pupils' outcomes are improving at Sacred Heart in Hemsworth.

A school that was dropped into special measures earlier this year is taking effective action to turn is fortunes around, education inspectors have said.

Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School in Hemsworth was told in February by Ofsted following a visit that its leadership was weak, that teaching was inconsistent due to the appointment of temporary teachers and that pupils’ development was in decline.

It led to an overall ‘inadequate’ rating and was told it required special measures.

But following a summer monitoring visit by Ofsted, the inspector said: “Having considered all the evidence, I am of the opinion that at this time, leaders and managers are taking effective action towards the removal of special measures.”

Since February a permanent headteacher has been appointed and has been able to “quicken the rate of improvement”.

They added: “The trust and the headteacher have largely stabilised the unsatisfactory, temporary staffing situation that had led to the decline in pupils’ progress.

“The welcome stability in staffing is making a strong contribution to these pupils feeling more settled.”

The academy council that was once overseeing the school has since been replaced by an experienced and effective trust-intervention board.

A statement from the school reads: “The school continues to drive rapid and significant improvements in teaching and learning, and saw a significant increase in outcomes for pupils.”

The rate of pupil absences has been halved this year - which is being put down to a tougher stance on families taking holidays during term time and the introduction of attendance certificates for pupils, which have proved popular.

The school has also undergone a major refurbishment and that parents are being kept abreast of all updates.

The inadequate rating in February came as a crushing blow to the Highfield Road school which had been rated as ‘good’ during its previous full visit by Ofsted in 2013.

Charles Gillott, the chairman of the Bishop Konstant Catholic Academy Trust said: “The school is making pleasing progress and I expect this to continue.

“I thank parents for their support and members of staff for their hard work”.