Head’s disappointment over ‘inadequate’ Ofsted rating


A Worthing primary school has been ruled ‘inadequate’ following its latest Ofsted inspection.

St Mary’s, in Cobden Road, underwent a two-day inspection and the findings of Joy Considine and her team were published on February 23.

In her report, Ms Considine said the school required “significant improvement” and was performing “significantly less well than it might in all the circumstances reasonably be expected to perform”.

St Mary’s had failed to meet the government’s minimum expectations for learning and progress in 2015, and underwent “considerable changes” to the staffing and leadership team following its last inspection.

Ms Considine acknowledged the new leaders had taken steps to improve teaching but said they had yet to take effect.

Of the five sections in the Ofsted report, St Mary’s was rated ‘inadequate’ in two, including the quality of teaching. The inspectors found some teachers had low expectations of pupils, whose work was too easy.

Ms Considine said: “Work in pupils’ books is of poor quality. In some books, there is very little work and teachers readily praise poor efforts.”

While recognising children were happy at St Mary’s and the curriculum contributed well to their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development, Ms Considine highlighted several areas which needed to improve.

They included raising standards in reading, writing and maths; raising teachers’ expectations of what pupils could do, and making better use of available information to identify school priorities.

Headteacher Cecilia Lewis
released a statement re-assuring parents “every effort is being made” to act upon Ofsted’s recommendations.

She said: “We were expecting a challenging inspection in view of the disruption to the school’s improvement strategy over the last year but it doesn’t make it any less disappointing.

“We have put a lot of effort in to ensure our pupils get the level of support that they deserve and we will continue to work hard to secure these improvements.

“Raising standards and achievement is crucial in helping our children prepare for their futures. The governors, leaders and all the staff at our school are fully committed to this.

“We look forward to being able to demonstrate the rapid improvements already taken and I am confident that high expectations of all our stakeholders will enable excellent outcomes for all pupils.”

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