Ofsted rating at Northampton academy slips after inspectors find shortfall in basic skills

Eastfield Academy leadership was criticised for how it spent its pupil premium.
Eastfield Academy leadership was criticised for how it spent its pupil premium.

English, maths and science skills at a Northampton primary school have been hit by inconsistent teaching, says Ofsted.

Eastfield Academy, in Kingsley Park, slipped down from a "good rating" to "requires improvement" in its latest inspection published last week (October 19).

In an inspection in September, the school watchdog found pupils' skills in English, maths and science fell short, and students were often not given the chance to reflect and improve, or write longer pieces across their classes.

But staff were also praised for keeping students safe and for celebrating the "many cultures and nationalities of pupils".

The report reads: "Pupils are not making fast enough progress, nor attaining highly enough, in key stage two.

"Teachers do not consistently address pupils’ basic mistakes in their spelling, grammar and punctuation... their ability to solve problems and reason mathematically is not yet high enough... Pupils are not making sufficient progress in science.

"Some pupils find work too difficult, whereas the most able pupils are not given work that is demanding enough."

The report also questioned how the school's leaders spent pupil premium funding, which led to "too few disadvantaged pupils" attaining well.

Inspectors did note that a new "effective" adviser from the academy's trust, David Ross Education Trust, began in the new term.

They also saw that the school's headteacher, Mrs Tracey Hamilton, had identified areas of weakness.

Inspectors also praised the pupils for their highly caring ethos. The report reads: "Pupils are also very respectful to others regardless of their faith, appearance, family structure, culture or beliefs.

"When asked if the school taught them to value others equally, one pupil summed up the thoughts of others by saying, ‘Of course. Why wouldn’t they? Everyone is valued.’"

The school's leaders said in the report they aim to reclaim their "good" rating and carry on until they are "outstanding".

Eastfield Academy could not be reached for comment as they are on half-term break.