Hebden Bridge primary is back in special measures

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A PRIMARY school which was described three years ago as good with outstanding features has now been put into special measures.

Since 2009, there has been a lack of urgency at Riverside School in addressing areas for improvement, according to Ofsted inspectors.

As a result, the 178 children are failing to receive a satisfactory standard of education.

In addition: “Those responsible for leading, managing or governing the school are not demonstrating the capacity to secure the necessary improvement.”

Riverside was in special measures between 1997 and 1999 because of weak leadership, divided governors, a worn out building and poor resources.

This time around the Hebden Bridge school is struggling because there has been considerable difficulty recruiting a permanent headteacher.

Val Eggleton was the acting headteacher for a year before taking up the post permanently last September.

The deputy head retired in July and has not been replaced.

The inspectors found pupils make insufficient progress at Riverside because the quality of teaching is inadequate and does not challenge youngsters enough.

“Pupils with special educational needs do not have their needs met in lessons.

The inspectors found some pupils were unable to take part in lessons for long periods and were not being sufficiently supported.

“There are insufficient opportunities in the curriculum for pupils to engage in extended pieces of writing and the skills of some pupils who read to inspectors were three years behind those expected.”

According to the inspectors, the effectiveness of leaders and managers is inadequate, the quality of marking and feedback to pupils is inconsistent and until recently there was no effective system in place to track the progress of pupils.

“Attendance is above average, although too many pupils arrive late at school in the mornings.

“A very large majority of parents and carers who responded to a questionnaire felt their children were taught well.”

Saira Dunnakey, the chairwoman of the governors at Riverside School, said: “We are absolutely heartbroken at this decision by Ofsted to brand our school as inadequate and to place it in special measures.

“We have recently appointed a new headteacher, who is aware of the size of the task which the school faces and we believe she has the knowledge, expertise and passion to move the school forward.”