Village school marked down

Sowerby Village CE Primary School exterior
Sowerby Village CE Primary School exterior

A PRIMARY school where attendance is low and declining has been put into special measures.

Sowerby Village Primary has 161 pupils and most start school with skills below those expected for their age.

But the quality of teaching they receive is inadequate and school leaders have too little impact on the quality of provision and outcomes for pupils, according to Ofsted.

Inspectors found it “failing to give pupils an acceptable standard of education and a lack of clear direction for improvement.”

They saw children eager to learn, polite and welcoming, and keen to talk about their many opportunities to keep fit through sport and the benefits of a healthy lifestyle.

“But pupils’ poor basic skills inhibit their future economic well-being.”

Headteacher Gillian Bush said that leaders and governors were addressing the things the inspectors said should be improved.

“Recent improvements to the school budget are allowing key priorities to be tackled with renewed vigour, due to the additional staff who are now in post,” she said.

Mrs Carole Hitchen-Gibbon, chairwoman of governors, said they recognised further developments were required.

She said the whole school team was keen to work with Calderdale Council to bring about the necessary improvements. Results from the Year 6 standard attainment tests in May show pupils achieving some of the best results ever at the school, especially in writing.

In mathematics, 95 per cent of children achieved the expected level 4 and 23 per cent level 5.

In English 82 per cent achieved level 4 and 41 per cent of those achieved level 5. The school has exceeded its statutory targets and performed significantly above the Calderdale average, said Mrs Bush.