School falls short ‘by a wide margin’

UNCERTAINTY is hampering attempts to improve a Calderdale primary school.

As a result, pupils have failed to achieve their attainment targets “by a considerable margin”, most teaching is falling short of the mark and behaviour is often inappropriate, according to Ofsted inspectors.

But all that could change when New Road Primary, in Sowerby Bridge, forms a partnership with Copley Junior School, which is rated as outstanding.

Inspectors visited New Road in 2010 and they found the school to be “satisfactory and improving.”

But the latest unannounced inspection shows that has not be sustained.

“The school has made inadequate progress in making improvements and the effectiveness of the school in improving pupils’ behaviour is inadequate,” according to inspector Allan Torr.

“The capacity for the school to improve has declined and has been hampered by an uncertain future.”

There are fewer than 70 children at the school and only 29 per cent attained the expected grades in English and maths tests last summer.

“Staff have improved the curriculum but the quality of teaching has not improved enough since the last inspection.

“A few pupils ignore the teachers’ requests, shout inappropriately and refuse to work with classmates – a small number showed over- familiarity and a lack of respect, close to being cheeky or insolent.”

Mr Torr said the lack of a sharp focus on the development of pupils’ spiritual, moral or social development had not improved pupils’ attitudes or behaviour.

Calderdale Council’s head of learning services, David Whalley, said: “We have a well-developed plan to address the lack of progress at New Road Primary School. Arrangements are in place for a collaborative arrangement with Copley Junior School to provide the necessary support to bring about improvement.”

l The Children’s Centre attached to New Road School, which provides care for children aged up to eight, is one of the centres which the council originally said might have to lose its nursery provision as part of the latest spending cuts.