Sunderland school put in special measures last spring still failing

New Silksworth Infants School

New Silksworth Infants School

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A city primary school is still failing to meet the mark, say education watchdogs.

Ofsted inspectors placed New Silksworth Infant School into special measures in spring last year.

But following a monitoring visit this month, the Blind Lane school is still struggling and the local authority’s action plan is not fit for purpose.

The original inspection saw the school rated as inadequate in all areas.

It said children were not safe at all times, senior leaders were too slow in addressing the decline in pupil achievement and teachers were not being held to account.

They said the governing body’s checking of the school’s performance was weak, children failed to develop new skills as quickly as they should and behaviour required improvement.

A letter following the recent visit said: “Pupils’ current learning and progress remain inconsistent across the school.

“Teaching is not yet enabling pupils to make the swifter progress needed.

“Leaders agree that the current standard of work in pupils’ books and the observations of their learning in class show that pupils are not making up quickly enough for the lost ground of previous years.

“The most able pupils are not stretched to make the progress of which they are easily capable.”

The inspectors said leaders have taken some appropriate action to eradicate weak teaching, but the instability of staffing has made it difficult to secure sustained improvement.

They said: “The quality of teaching remains too variable and there is inadequate teaching in some classes in the early years and Key Stage 1.

“Many pupils find their lessons too easy and too much time is wasted covering work that pupils have already mastered or which does not build on the skills they have already acquired.

Progress remains too slow in the majority of classes.”

But, the inspectors said: “The interim leadership understands the urgency with which the quality of teaching needs to improve.

“Since September 2015, a set of non-negotiables for teaching has been established to set clearer expectations of teachers.

“Leaders are monitoring the quality of teaching more robustly and providing clear advice to teachers about how they need to improve.

“As yet, the implementation of these improvements is too recent to discern any significant impact on the quality of teaching and learning.”