Two primary schools in Coventry and Warwickshire were among the worst in the country, according to Ofsted. The government’s education watchdog, which marked its 30th anniversary on May 6, confirmed in a new report that while schools were making good progress to recover from the last two years, many continue to face challenges – some with longer-term consequences.
For some schools, the Covid pandemic struck at an already critical time as staff battled to improve standards following damning Ofsted inspections. As of May 3, there were 97 primary schools in England rated as inadequate – the lowest grade given by Ofsted.
Ofsted’s assessment is based on four core elements – quality of education, behaviour and attitudes, personal development and leadership and management. Woodfield School in Coventry and The Nethersole CofE Academy in Polesworth, North Warwickshire, were among the schools with the lowest possible grading.
Woodfield School, which caters for both primary and secondary age children with special educational needs at a number of sites in Coventry, was inspected in March 2020 and has been subject to a number of monitoring inspections since then The Nethersole CofE Academy in High Street, was inspected at the end of November and the beginning of December 2021.
Both schools have been approached for comment.
Inspectors have acknowledged and in some cases praised changes and improvements that have been made or are in process at both schools.
Following the latest serious weakness monitoring inspection at Woodfield School in Coventry on January 19 this year an inspector wrote: “The school is split across three sites: Hawthorn Lane, Stoneleigh Road and the Woodlands site. Primary-age pupils attend the Stoneleigh Road site. Pupils in Year 7 and Year 8 attend the Woodlands site. Years 9 to 11 are based at the Hawthorne Lane site.
“Since the last monitoring inspection, two curriculum leaders have joined the school. One has responsibility for mathematics and the other for history, geography and culture. Nine new learning mentors, with a range of expertise, have been appointed.
“An interim executive board (IEB) is now responsible for the school’s governance. The IEB replaced the governing body in July 2021.”
Trajectory of improvement maintained
As regards progress towards the removal of the school’s serious weakness designation the inspector added: “Since the last monitoring inspection, staff absence has been high. Despite this, the interim headteacher has maintained the trajectory of improvement shown at the previous monitoring inspection.
“He continues to demonstrate a strong commitment to providing a high-quality education for all pupils.”
The school curriculum also received praise from the inspector who said: “The curriculum across the school is becoming broader and more ambitious. Leaders are taking steps to ensure that all pupils learn a wide range of subjects.”
The Nethersole CofE Academy Ofsted report outlined problems but also acknowledged steps the school was already taking to improve.
It said: “Pupils enjoy school but we should be doing much better in their learning. Across the school, including in the early years, pupils do not learn a meaningful, challenging curriculum.
“Although pupils try hard in their lessons, the way the curriculum is taught does not help them know more and remember more over time. New leaders are working rapidly to address these issues. There are early signs of success.
“Areas for improvement identified at the last inspection have not been addressed effectively. Actions taken by the trust and local academy board to improve the school have been hindered by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Recently, the trust asked an executive headteacher to oversee the school. New leaders have quickly put in place systems, policies and strategies to improve the school.
“The decline in the quality of education has been halted and there is some evidence that the school is improving. The executive headteacher rapidly identified the weaknesses across the school and put in place a robust action plan to address the systemic failings.
“The focus on behaviour and teaching and learning is beginning to drive the improvements needed. Staff roles and responsibilities are now clear and understood by all.”
The primary schools in England rated as inadequate by Ofsted are listed below.
Please note, these ratings may have changed since the time of writing and schools may be waiting on more up-to-date reports to be published. Schools that have closed or converted to academies but have not had a full inspection since the change are not included on the list.
Dodworth St John the Baptist CofE Primary Academy, Barnsley Road, Barnsley, S75 3JS – Inspected 20 Oct 2021
Kings Norton Junior and Infant School, Pershore Road South, Birmingham, B30 3EU – Inspected 29 Sep 2021
Nansen Primary School, Naseby Road, Birmingham, B8 3HG – Inspected 25 Sep 2019
Springfield House Community Special School, Kenilworth Road, Solihull, B93 0AJ – Inspected 11 Mar 2020
Bradford Girls’ Grammar School, Squire Lane, Bradford, BD9 6RB – Inspected 14 Mar 2019
Glenaire Primary School, Thompson Lane, Shipley, BD17 7LY – Inspected 18 Jun 2021
Brighton and Hove
Homewood College, Queensdown School Road, Brighton, BN1 7LA – Inspected 07 Dec 2021
Bristol, City of
St Nicholas of Tolentine Catholic Primary School, Pennywell Road, Bristol, BS5 0TJ – Inspected 18 Oct 2018
Dorney School, Harcourt Close, Maidenhead, SL6 0DY – Inspected 04 Nov 2021
Manor Farm Community Junior School, Rose Avenue, High Wycombe, HP15 7PH – Inspected 13 Oct 2021
St Augustine’s CofE VA Junior and Infant School, Hanson Lane, Halifax, HX1 5PG – Inspected 23 Sep 2021
Kingsfield Primary School, Burnsfield Street, Chatteris, PE16 6ET – Inspected 08 Nov 2019
Milton Church of England Primary School, Humphries Way, Cambridge, CB24 6DL – Inspected 15 Sep 2021
Ramnoth Junior School, Ramnoth Road, Wisbech, PE13 2JB – Inspected 27 Mar 2019
Dovery Down Lower School, Heath Road, Leighton Buzzard, LU7 3AG – Inspected 07 Oct 2021
Thomas Whitehead CofE Academy, Angels Lane, Dunstable, LU5 5HH – Inspected 23 Sep 2021
St Gregory’s Catholic Primary School, Albert Road, Macclesfield, SK10 5HS – Inspected 10 Feb 2022
Cheshire West and Chester
Frodsham Weaver Vale Primary School, Ship Street, Frodsham, WA6 7PZ – Inspected 16 Jul 2021
Brunel Primary & Nursery Academy, Callington Road, Saltash, PL12 6DX – Inspected 14 Nov 2018
Bugle School, Fore Street, St Austell, PL26 8PD – Inspected 15 May 2019
Crowan Primary School, Moorfield, Camborne, TR14 0LG – Inspected 11 Nov 2021
Jacobstow Community Primary School, Jacobstow, Bude, EX23 0BR – Inspected 03 Feb 2022
Landewednack Community Primary School, Beacon Terrace, Helston, TR12 7PB – Inspected 08 Oct 2021
Mabe Community Primary School, Cunningham Park, Penryn, TR10 9HB – Inspected 06 Jun 2019
Wendron Church of England Primary School, Wendron, Helston, TR13 0PX – Inspected 20 Oct 2021
Woodfield School, Stoneleigh Road, Coventry, CV4 7AB – Inspected 11 Mar 2020
Paxton Academy Sports And Science, 843 London Road, Thornton Heath, CR7 6AW – Inspected 27 Nov 2019
Landau Forte Academy Moorhead, Brackens Lane, Derby, DE24 0AN – Inspected 07 Mar 2019*
Glebe Junior School, Hamlet Lane, Alfreton, DE55 2JB – Inspected 21 Oct 2021
Infocus School, Countess Wear, Exeter, EX2 6HA – Inspected 12 Dec 2019
Portesham Church of England Primary School, Winters Close, Weymouth, DT3 4HP – Inspected 20 May 2021
Oakwood Primary Academy, Magnolia Drive, Eastbourne, BN22 0SS – Inspected 04 Mar 2020
St Mary’s School and 6th Form College, Wrestwood Road, Bexhill on Sea, TN40 2LU – Inspected 13 Feb 2019
Ravens Academy, Nayland Drive, Clacton-on-Sea, CO16 8TZ – Inspected 16 Oct 2019
Richard De Clare Community Academy, Parsonage Street, Halstead, CO9 2JT – Inspected 27 Jun 2019
Offa’s Mead Academy, Beachley Road, Chepstow, NP16 7DT – Inspected 12 Dec 2018
Robinswood Primary Academy, Underhill Road, Gloucester, GL4 6HE – Inspected 18 Dec 2019
Watermoor Church of England Primary School, Kingshill Lane, Cirencester, GL7 1SY – Inspected 20 Oct 2021
Hammersmith and Fulham
Queensmill School, 1 Askham Road, London, W12 0NW – Inspected 17 Nov 2021
Ashford Hill Primary School, Ashford Hill Road, Thatcham, RG19 8BB – Inspected 12 Nov 2021
Hatherden Church of England Primary School, Hatherden Lane, Andover, SP11 0HT – Inspected 12 Jul 2019
Liphook Infant School, Avenue Close, Liphook, GU30 7QE – Inspected 09 Dec 2021
Martins Wood Primary School, Mildmay Road, Stevenage, SG1 5RT – Inspected 18 Nov 2021
Watchlytes Primary School, Watchlytes, Welwyn Garden City, AL7 2AZ – Inspected 29 Sep 2021
Lynsted and Norton Primary School, Lynsted Lane, Sittingbourne, ME9 0RL – Inspected 20 May 2021
Manorfield Infant and Nursery School, Manor Way, Batley, WF17 7DQ – Inspected 13 Oct 2021
Castle View Primary School, Keswick Road, Lancaster, LA1 3LE – Inspected 18 Dec 2019
Micklefield Church of England Voluntary Controlled Primary School, Great North Road, Leeds, LS25 4AQ – Inspected 04 Jul 2019
Holy Family Catholic Primary School, Upper Essex Street, Liverpool, L8 6QB – Inspected 25 Apr 2018
Wenlock CofE Junior School, Beaconsfield Road, Luton, LU2 0RW – Inspected 25 Nov 2021
Featherby Junior School, Chilham Road, Gillingham, ME8 6BT – Inspected 08 Dec 2021
Antingham and Southrepps Primary School, Lower Street, Norwich, NR11 8UG – Inspected 30 Jan 2020
The Bishop’s Church of England Primary Academy, Canterbury Way, Thetford, IP24 1EB – Inspected 09 Oct 2019
Diamond Academy, Hillary Road, Thetford, IP24 3DP – Inspected 19 Jan 2022
Edward Worlledge Ormiston Academy, Suffolk Road, Great Yarmouth, NR31 0ER – Inspected 09 Jan 2020
The Fen Rivers Academy, Kilhams Way, King’s Lynn, PE30 2HU – Inspected 12 Jun 2019
Beckwithshaw Community Primary School, Church Row, Harrogate, HG3 1QW – Inspected 10 Dec 2021
Brompton Hall School, High Street, Scarborough, YO13 9DB – Inspected 10 Jun 2021
Carleton Endowed CofE Primary School, Carleton, Skipton, BD23 3DE – Inspected 16 Jun 2021
Ripley Endowed Church of England School, Main Street, HARROGATE, HG3 3AY – Inspected 04 Nov 2021
Thomas Hinderwell Primary Academy, Seamer Road, Scarborough, YO12 4HF – Inspected 27 Feb 2020
Weaverthorpe Church of England Voluntary Controlled Primary School, Weaverthorpe, Malton, YO17 8ES – Inspected 24 Jan 2020
Woodfield Primary School, Woodfield Road, Harrogate, HG1 4HZ – Inspected 30 Jan 2020
Brierley Forest Primary and Nursery School, Westbourne View, Sutton in Ashfield, NG17 2HT – Inspected 03 Nov 2021
Harlow Academy, Nottingham Road, Mansfield, NG18 5BA – Inspected 19 Jan 2022
Bishopswood School, Grove Road, Reading, RG4 9RH – Inspected 17 Nov 2021
Austin Farm Academy, Delamere Road, Plymouth, PL6 5XQ – Inspected 05 Nov 2021
High Street Primary Academy, High Street, Plymouth, PL1 3SJ – Inspected 13 Nov 2019
Hyde Park Infants’ School – Hyde Park Road, Plymouth, PL3 4RS – Inspected 04 Nov 2021
Mount Tamar School, Row Lane, Plymouth, PL5 2EF – Inspected 26 Nov 2021
Newman School, East Bawtry Road, Rotherham, S60 3LX – Inspected 04 Nov 2021
St Mary’s Catholic Primary School (Maltby), Muglet Lane, Rotherham, S66 7JU – Inspected 13 Feb 2020
Lydeard St Lawrence Community Primary School, Lydeard St Lawrence, Taunton, TA4 3SF – Inspected 10 Nov 2021
Minerva Primary School, Outer Circle, Taunton, TA1 2BU – Inspected 23 May 2019
Highfield Church of England Primary School, Hawthorn Road, Southampton, SO17 1PX – Inspected 27 Jan 2022
St Monica Primary School, Bay Road, Southampton, SO19 8EZ – Inspected 09 Oct 2019
Ashley Primary School, Temple Park Road, South Shields, NE34 0QA – Inspected 06 Oct 2021
St Mary’s Roman Catholic Primary School Stockport, Roman Road, Stockport, SK4 1RF – Inspected 12 Jan 2022
Portland School and Specialist College, Uttoxeter Road, Stoke-on-Trent, ST11 9JG – Inspected 08 Dec 2021
Hartest Church of England Primary School, The Row, Bury St Edmunds, IP29 4DL – Inspected 22 Sep 2021
Langer Primary Academy, Langer Road, Felixstowe, IP11 2HL – Inspected 11 Mar 2020
Sprites Primary Academy, Stonechat Road, Ipswich, IP2 0SA – Inspected 16 Oct 2019
Stoke-by-Nayland Church of England Primary School, School Street, Nr Colchester, CO6 4QY – Inspected 13 Oct 2021
The Mead Infant and Nursery School, Newbury Gardens, Epsom, KT19 0QG – Inspected 17 Nov 2021
Unified Academy, Chart Lane South, Dorking, RH5 4DB – Inspected 25 Apr 2019
The Weald CofE Primary School, Newdigate Road, Dorking, RH5 4QW – Inspected 01 Nov 2018
Cockington Primary School, Cockington Primary School, Old Mill Road, Torquay, TQ2 6AP – Inspected 13 Oct 2021
Wakefield Greenhill Primary School, Greenhill Road, Wakefield, WF1 4LU – Inspected 15 Oct 2021
The Nethersole CofE Academy, High Street, Polesworth, B78 1DZ – Inspected 01 Dec 2021
Daventry Hill School, Ashby Road, Daventry, NN11 0QE – Inspected 07 Jun 2019
Kings Sutton Primary Academy, Richmond Street, Banbury, OX17 3RT – Inspected 19 Jun 2019
Northampton International Academy, Barrack Road, Northampton, NN1 1AA – Inspected 02 Feb 2022
Rowde CofE Academy, High Street, Devizes, SN10 2ND – Inspected 21 Mar 2019
St Mary’s Catholic Primary School, Rowden Hill, Chippenham, SN15 2AH – Inspected 11 Jul 2018
Westwood-with-Iford Primary School, Boswell Road, Bradford-on-Avon, BA15 2BY – Inspected 14 Jul 2021
Rushwick CofE Primary School, Upper Wick Lane, Worcester, WR2 5SU – Inspected 09 Feb 2022
Naburn Church of England Primary School, Naburn, York, YO19 4PP – Inspected 09 Dec 2021