A Preston school judged as inadequate by teaching inspectors is to be closed.Advertisement
Deepdale Junior School on St Stephen’s Road, Deepdale, is to be shut by Lancashire County Council after concerns were raised about the way it was struggling to improve its teaching standards after being placed in special measures.
All pupils are to be transferred to its adjoining school Deepdale Infant School which will expand to teach from 3 years to 11 years, previously it stopped at 7 years.
The new school will have a capacity of 630 pupils and comes into effect from 1 January 2015.
The Infant School was rated as good by Ofsted in its latest report in November last year.
A report prepared for cabinet member for children, young people and schools, county councillor Matthew Tomlinson, states: “At an Ofsted Inspection visit in September 2013 Deepdale Junior School received an
overall effectiveness rating of ‘inadequate’.
“There were a number of issues that led to this rating. The school was rated as ‘inadequate’ in terms of achievements of the pupils; quality of teaching; and leadership and management. In terms of behaviour and safety of pupils the school was considered to ‘require improvement’.
“The inspection report stated that “Frequent staff and leadership changes have resulted in a considerable decline in the quality of education provided by the school” and the inspection report also stated that “Leaders including governors are unable to bring about the necessary improvements to teaching and achievement.
“They are too heavily dependent on external support”.
Following the ‘inadequate’ Ofsted rating, in December 2013 a special measures monitoring inspection was conducted.
Although it was observed that “Since the inspection the acting head teacher and her deputy have been highly effective in stabilising the school and providing the leadership the school needed”, the monitoring report went on to observe that a lack of stability in the teaching staff and leadership was a significant barrier to the school’s progress.”
Parents have been assured class sizes at the newly enlarged Deepdale Infant School will not increase.
A consultation run by the county council found 84% of parents and staff who responded supported the closure of the Junior School and expansion of the Infant School.
A statement from Lancashire County Council said: “The local authority is under a statutory duty to secure high quality education provision in its area. There are a number of concerns in relation to Deepdale Junior School that now require the local authority to consider its future.
“The objective is to establish a sustainable means of providing continuity of education and improve standards.
“The findings of the consultation indicate that there is strong support for the linked proposals. The consultation process did highlight some concerns about the expansion of Deepdale Infant School, mainly relating to ensuring that the proposals did not result in a negative impact for infant pupils and the size of the newly phased primary school.
“Parents from both schools have been offered the opportunity to discuss any concerns directly with the head teacher and school adviser. ”
The county council is also working on plans to amend the buildings used by the school. It does not say where funding will come from for any building work, apart from to say it is “confident that funding is available to address these costs.”
You can read the full report on the county council website.
Do your children attend either of these schools? What do you think about the news? Let us know in the comments below