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Ofsted too focused on negative, says Brighton primary school head
A primary school head has hit out at a government watchdog’s “negative” approach.
Dennis O’Sullivan, head of Coombe Road Primary school, Brighton, said Ofsted focused on a school’s bad points instead of the strengths.
It comes as the school received a rating of “requires improvement” in its latest inspection, just one above the bottom grade.
Mr O’Sullivan urged parents to read the whole report, stressing there were many positives amid the gloom.
He said the reviews give a false impression by starting with why the school is not good, rather what it is excelling at.
He added: “I urge people to read the report in detail because beyond the headline judgements there are many very positive statements about the school.
“Our senior leaders, all staff and governors are fully committed to providing children with the very best start in education.
“We are confident that by implementing our existing school improvement plans we will address the development areas identified by the inspection team.”
The report said some children’s learning, especially in maths, was not up to scratch as the teaching had not been consistently good enough to make up for past underachievement.
Inspectors also said there were a small number of problems with pupils’ behaviour, both in and out the classroom.
But they did say a change of approach by the school, focusing on pupil progress and quality of teaching, was having a “direct and positive” impact on learning.
And the report highlighted the progress made by targeting pupils in reading and writing.
Getting it right
Jan Hunter, chairwoman of governors, said: “I am pleased that the inspectors took time to understand the school and the plans we have for improvement.
“They agreed that the current leadership is doing the right things, that results are improving significantly for targeted groups of pupils and that pupils who find learning challenging have good support.
“They have also given us some useful actions to help improve the quality of teaching and to make sure pupils progress even faster.
“I can assure you that I and my fellow governors will be actively supporting the school to implement these actions.”
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