Education watchdog reports Calderdale school ‘needs to improve’

Ferney Lee Primary School, Todmorden.
Ferney Lee Primary School, Todmorden.

A Todmorden primary school has been told it must improve by education watchdog Ofsted.

Inspectors visited Ferney Lee Primary School, Ferney Lee Road, last month and gave the school an overall rating of ‘requires improvement’. In 2013, an inspection and subsequent report gave the school a ‘good’ rating, with two areas classed as ‘outstanding’.

Inspectors said pupils at the school do not make good enough progress in writing and maths.

Their report said: “...too few pupils reach the expected standards or above for their age in these areas. This is the case for all groups, including disadvantaged pupils and pupils who have special educational needs and/or disabilities.

“Teaching does not always ensure that work is challenging enough. Learning does not always engage pupils, often because work is too easy This can lead to some restlessness in class.

“Pupils report that this can cause some disruption to learning. The curriculum does not always allow pupils the chance to reinforce their key skills.”

It added: “Leaders have only recently identified the lack of consistently strong teaching and the impact this is having on pupils’ engagement in learning and their outcomes in writing and mathematics.”

The report also outlines that attendance is below average and a “much higher than average proportion of pupils are absent regularly”.

Ofsted noted the number of pupils involved in “serious behaviour incidents” is high.

The school was also criticised for failing to ensure that the needs of disadvantaged pupils and those who have special educational needs and/or disabilities are met well. A new interim head teacher is now in place and he was praised for identifying areas of development which have led to rapid improvements in behaviour, curriculum and training for teachers. The report also said reading was well taught and where pupils struggle, support is in place.

Interim head Jonathan Moss said the the outcome of the inspection was disappointing, but an action plan was now in place to ensure improvements are made.