By Ian Dipple Friday 18 January 2013 Updated: 21/01 12:26
A REDDITCH school has been put into special measures after a damning report branded it failing in all areas.
School standards watchdog Ofsted blasted The Harry Taylor First School for failing to give pupils an acceptable standard of education. It was rated inadequate for the achievement of pupils, quality of teaching, behaviour and safety of pupils and its leadership and management.
Inspectors judged children's progress to be below expected levels, particularly in writing. It was also found children fell further behind as they moved through the school and lessons failed to motivate or engage children, with the pace of learning too slow which led to disruptive behaviour. Teachers were not asking challenging enough questions to help pupils learn and their marking did not help children understand what they needed to do to improve.
It was also found some subjects were not taught in sufficient depth to develop pupils' writing skills. Governors were also condemned for failing to understand the issues facing the Crabbs Cross based school, not holding teachers to account and failing to act decisively to halt a further decline in standards, after the school was rated as just satisfactory in its previous inspection in January 2011.
It is not the first time the school has been found to be failing. In 2007 Ofsted issued it with a notice to improve having raised concerns about low standards.
One parent, who has a child at the school and another which recently left, told the Standard she had raised repeated concerns about the progress her eldest son was making but was assured everything was fine.
"Within a term of going to his new school he has been put on the special needs register, has learning support and has been referred to an outside agency. I feel massively let down because you put your trust in the teachers and they were saying he is well behaved and works hard so he'll be okay," she said.
"If I could I would pull my youngest son out but hopefully this is the incentive they need. It just astounds me how they could get it so wrong for so long."
Since the school's previous headteacher Samina Lees resigned in February last year, Sue Foster-Agg and Sallyanne Dunstan, headteacher and deputy headteacher of nearby The Vaynor First School, were brought in to start turning the school around.
When inspectors visited in November they found some improvement had been made but it had come too late to stop the school going into special measures.
It has now been agreed to make the move permanent by turning Harry Taylor into a sponsored academy under Vaynor's leadership, to help drive up standards and staff and parents will be consulted on the move.
John Edwards, Worcestershire County Council's head of learning and achievement, said: "Discussions are now in progress to secure this arrangement as a permanent solution, together with continued Local Authority support, which will bring rapid and sustainable improvement."
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