Parents lose faith as church primary school plummets from outstanding to inadequate in Milton Keynes

A church primary school that once boasted an outstanding Ofsted rating has plummeted to inadequate across the board - and requiring special measures.

Thursday, 21st March 2019, 5:13 pm
Updated Thursday, 21st March 2019, 9:21 pm
The school in question

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The newly-published report into St Mary and St Giles Church of England primary in Stony Stratford is so damning that many parents have lost all faith in the school.

Inspectors describe the safeguarding of pupils as “wholly inadequate” at the 450-pupil school, which has the motto 'every child is a gift from God'.

The school in question

The Ofsted report slams the curriculum as ineffective, leadership as poor, and the governors’ monitoring as “weak”.

It states: “Her Majesty’s chief Inspector is of the opinion that this school requires special measures because it is failing to give its pupils an acceptable standard of education.”

It adds: “The persons responsible for leading, managing and governing the school are not demonstrating the capacity to secure the necessary improvement.”

MK Council appointed a new interim headteacher for the school when the previous head resigned after a lengthy absence - the week before the Ofsted inspection.

Inspectors are now calling for an urgent review of safeguarding systems and an improvement in quality of teaching across the entire school, which is spread over two sites.

The report reveals alarmingly that there was a “lack of vigilance” across both sites, and insufficient checks were made when children left the premises.

It highlights weaknesses in the Maths and English teaching throughout all classes and said too many pupils were not prepared for the next stage of their education when they leave at the age of 11.

Though teachers are dedicated, many have not had access to suitable training and their expectations are too low, say the inspectors.

The needs of special needs pupils, in particular, are not being met, the report states.

“Many parents have lost faith in the school and a high proportion are concerned about pupils’ poor levels of progress and poor behaviour being unresolved.”

The report also criticises the governors. It states: "Governors have presided over a failing school. the governing body has not fulfilled its statutory safeguarding duties by checking that policies, practices and procedures are in place to ensure the safety of pupils."

One parent told the Citizen: “At the last Ofsted inspection this school was outstanding. That it has now plummeted to inadequate in every single area is simply appalling. We hope the special measure will bring urgent improvements.”

MK Council is now helping put together a plan of action for the school and many parents are seeking assurance that improvements will be made swiftly.

In a statement, the council said: "We accept the findings of this report and have been working with a new leadership team and governance to address the issues since they were first identified in December 2018. In January of this year, a Targeted Improvement Board was set up to further address each area requiring improvement.

"We recognise the professionalism, dedication and hard work of our teachers and staff at St Mary & St Giles Church of England School and will continue to work with them in the coming weeks and months. We would ask parents and the local community to continue their support of this valuable school.”