Sunderland primary fails to make the grade in Ofsted inspection

Eppleton Primary Academy.
Eppleton Primary Academy.

A Sunderland primary academy has been told it must do better by education watchdogs.

Ofsted inspectors visited Eppleton Primary Academy School and said it needed improvement.

The new headteacher has secured notable improvements to the school.


Although the personal development, behaviour of pupils and their welfare is good at the Church Road school, the early years provision is inadequate.

In all other areas, leadership, quality of teaching and outcomes for pupils, the school requires improvement.

A report by the inspectors said too few pupils are reaching the highest levels of attainment.

They said: “Leaders have not ensured that teaching is securing consistently strong progress from all pupils, including the most able and those who are disadvantaged.

“In the early years, teachers’ expectations of what children can achieve are too low. Children spend too much time on activities which lack purpose. Their progress, particularly in writing and mathematics, and for boys, is inadequate.”

Inspectors said until recently the governors did not have an accurate view of the school’s performance.

They said leaders have not had sufficient opportunities to develop their skills to improve teaching or outcomes for pupils and, until recently, assesments of performance were inaccurate.

However, the inspectors said: “The new headteacher has secured notable improvements to the school. She has a clear view of what is working well in the school and what must improve.

“In a short space of time, she has raised teachers’ expectations of what must be achieved with pupils. She has taken rapid action to reorganise staffing to address areas of weakness and, as a result, can demonstrate significant improvements in the outcomes achieved by pupils in Key Stage 1.

“This effective work demonstrates her capacity to lead the school to further success.”

The inspectors said pupils are courteous, respectful and toleran and take immense pride in their school and relish opportunities to lead their peers.

They said the teaching of phonics has improved and the proportion of pupils meeting the expected standard in the phonics screening check in Year 1 is in line with the national average.

The report said: “The school is a safe place for pupils. Arrangements to safeguard pupils and to promote their welfare are effective.”

To continue to move ahead the school needs to improve the quality of teaching, so that it secures consistently strong progress from pupils, particularly the most able, those who are disadvantaged and those who have low prior attainment.