Failing Northampton school ‘not getting enough help’

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The county council has been criticised by Ofsted for failing to provide enough support to a struggling Northampton primary school.

A report of a visit to Kings Heath Primary School last month, by Michael Sheridan, an inspector for the Government’s education watchdog, concluded Northamptonshire County Council’s statement of action was “not fit for purpose”.

The inspector also noted the county council had not stated specifically enough what support it deemed was necessary.

Kings Heath Primary School, which is not an academy and is therefore still under local authority control, was placed in special measures last September.

The latest Ofsted report stated: “The local authority’s plan does not state specifically enough what support is deemed necessary. Nor does it state how it will broker appropriate support. This lack of direction is leading to delays in setting up partnerships to support the building of leadership capacity.”

A spokesman from Northamptonshire County Council said the local authority had put in a “huge amount” of support for this school and its statement of action had only been declared unfit for purpose once in the past five years.

The spokesman said: “Ofsted’s framework for school inspection has changed and at the same time, the way they assess local authority statements of action is changing too.

“We have therefore contacted Ofsted and arranged to meet a representative to discuss further what they are expecting to see going forward.”

The headteacher, governors and senior leaders at Kings Heath Primary School have been praised by Ofsted for their “determination” to improve the school.

The report stated that their plans were focused on the right areas for improvement and timescales were appropriate and monitoring arrangements were in place.

However, the school was not allowed to appoint newly-qualified teachers before the next monitoring inspection in three months time.