Safeguarding at Gorefield Primary School is improving, says Ofsted

Gorefield Primary School is improving its safeguarding, according to Ofsted.

Gorefield Primary School is improving its safeguarding, according to Ofsted. - Credit: Archant

A Fenland primary school criticised by Ofsted for ineffective safeguarding is improving, according to the education watchdog.

Gorefield Primary School was visited by inspector Tim Bristow last month amid concerns about child protection at the school, which has 109 pupils aged four to 11 on roll.

But the school has turned a corner in recent months according to Mr Bristow, who said leaders and governors have “acted quickly” to overcome its weaknesses since its full inspection in May.

In a letter to headteacher, John Starling, he said: “Following the previous inspection, you arranged training for staff and strengthened the policies for safer recruitment and child protection. The climate for safeguarding is now much stronger than at the time of last inspection.

“Child protection files are now orderly and secure. They give a detailed record of the referrals, actions taken and work with outside agencies. This demonstrates that staff take action swiftly and appropriately when necessary.”

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He did, however, say that the school’s new safeguarding measures were “not sustainable in the long term,” adding “it is very important that the requirements of the administration of safeguarding are considered at this time to ensure the long-term security of the records”.

Ofsted gave the school an ‘inadequate’ rating earlier this year, saying that it had been through a “period of significant disruption” since its last inspection in 2014 and that this “turbulent time” had led to a lack of consistency in the actions taken to raise standards.

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Tracy Fielding, lead inspector, said: “Although improving, teaching, learning and assessment are not yet securely good.

“Leaders acknowledge that some weaker teaching has affected pupils’ progress and needs to be remedied to ensure that the pupils who have fallen behind catch up quickly, particularly in English and mathematics.

“Leaders self evaluation is over generous and the school’s plans for improvement lack detail and precision.

“Learning activities are too often not demanding enough.

“The most able have to wait too long before they get started on work that extends their thinking. This slows down their progress.”

Ofsted said the school can improve further by ensuring that its staff become “experts” in safeguarding, continue to update parents on its progress and broaden its curriculum.

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