Forest Academy in Brandon told to improve by inspectors

Children in a classroom. Picture: Dave Thompson/PA

Children in a classroom. Picture: Dave Thompson/PA - Credit: PA

A west Suffolk primary school has lost its good rating after inspectors criticised “inconsistent” teaching.

Forest Academy in Brandon was given an overall grade of requires improvement following the Ofsted inspection late last year.

The inspector’s report, which was published this month, said: “The quality of teaching across the wider curriculum is inconsistent.”

It said the inconsistencies do not “enable pupils to achieve as well as they should”.

It also stated: “At times, staff do not have sufficiently high expectations of pupils. When this happens, pupils are not challenged by the tasks they are set.”

However, the school’s personal development, behaviour and welfare was rated as good with the report noting that pupils said bullying was rare.

The school, which has a partnership with Elveden Primary Academy, was rated good during a previous inspection in 2014.

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Headteachers April Grimes and Lorna Rourke said: “Whilst the staff and governors are disappointed with the overall judgement, we are very proud of our school, the children and staff and we are working tirelessly to provide the very best possible education.

“We are confident that we will be able to increase progress for all children over time with the changes in place.”

The report said teachers’ assessment of pupils’ attainment had not been accurate enough to help teachers to have “high enough expectations of the quality of work that some pupils could produce”.

However, it was acknowledged that leaders had recently taken steps to improve assessment accuracy and they revised systems had not been in place long enough to have made a significant difference.

The inspectors praised the school for the “mutually respectful” and “friendly relationships” between pupils and adults.

The report also said: “Pupils enjoy serving on the school council, as junior road safety officers or junior sports ‘leaders’. They take pride in their school environment by volunteering to be litter pickers.”

Improvements recommended by the inspector included making sure teachers have high expectations of what pupils can achieve.