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Primary school told by Ofsted that it must do better

Dene House Primary School, Peterlee.
Dene House Primary School, Peterlee.

Education watchdogs say an East Durham school must do better.

Ofsted visited Dene House Primary School in Peterlee and rated it as needing improvement.

Working with new leaders to ensure that issues highlighted in the report are addressed

Jim Smith

The school, which converted to an academy three years ago, was found to require improvement in all areas apart from the early years provision which is good.

Jim Smith, CEO of the Trudhoe Learning Trust, which overseas the school, said: “Having been an inadequate school at its last inspection, the trust is satisfied that Dene House Primary is improving, but acknowledges that further improvement is required.

“Directors, governors and leaders are very ambitious for the school and are determined that it will reach a good level of performance in the near future.

“The Trust has a track record in improving school performance and will be working with new leaders to ensure that issues highlighted in the report are addressed.”

In their report the inspectors said of the Manor Way school: “Improvements in the quality of teaching, identified by leaders as being needed, have been hampered by changes in leadership.”

And, governors do not fully hold leaders to account for the impact of pupil premium funding on disadvantaged pupils’ outcomes.

Inspectors said the system for tracking pupil progress is not used effectively and teaching is inconsistent.

The report said: “Not all teachers have high expectations of what pupils could achieve. Too few pupils make fast progress to help them catch up.

“There is insufficient challenge for the most able pupils.”

However, they said: “The acting headteacher, well supported by an associated headteacher, has a clear vision of the quality of education that pupils at Dene House deserve.

“This vision is clearly shared by staff. Despite turbulence in leadership, staff morale is strong and reflects the commitment of staff to school improvement.”

The inspectors said the school has a number of strengths including being a caring school, which is effective in supporting the welfare of pupils and families.

They said: “Safeguarding procedures are robust and pupils said that they feel safe.

“The provision in the early years gets the children off to a good start and prepares them well for key stage 1.

“The support for pupils who have special educational needs (SEN) and/or disabilities is good and this ensures that these pupils make good progress.

“Pupils show respect for each other and adults in school. They conduct themselves well around the school and in the playground.”

To improve the school needs to address the quality of teaching so that it is consistently good or better to raise pupils’ attainment, improve leadership and management and undertake an external review of the use of the pupil premium funding in order to assess how this might be improved.