INSPECTORS have ordered a local primary school to improve after finding a number of problems there during a recent visit.
Sandown School on The Ridge was judged as ‘inadequate’ after an Ofsted inspection in March and staff and governors have vowed to address the failings identified in the report, which puts the school in the bottom seven per cent of primary schools in the country.
“This school requires significant improvement because it is performing significantly less well than in all the circumstances it could reasonably be expected to,” the inspectors said.
They are demanding that the school raises performance in English and maths, improves leadership and tackles poor attendance rates. Sandown got the lowest mark possible for preparing pupils for their futures and providing value for money. The report also said teachers had to try harder to tailor lessons to different pupils’ abilities.
But the inspectors did say the Sandown community was aware of what it needed to do. “School leaders, staff and the governing body have a strong commitment to bringing about improvements,” they said. “They are clear about where the school needs to improve and are taking well-planned actions to bring this about, which are starting to meet with success.”
East Sussex County Council has already drawn up an action plan to help turn the school around and Rev Matt Carter, chairman of the governors, was upbeat the school was moving in the right direction. He said: “As you would expect we are very disappointed with this report which we take very seriously.
“Everyone is very committed to raising standards and we are working closely with the local authority to bring this about. We know there remains a lot more to be done.”
The school, which has nearly 400 children on its books, was praised for its early years set-up, promoting healthy lifestyles and keeping pupils safe.
Last year’s SATS results showed it was the second worst performing primary school in Hastings and St Leonards with 60 per cent of 11-year-olds reaching the required level in English and maths, but that figure had jumped from just 38 per cent the year before.
Headteacher Charlie Lindsay, who has taken up his post since the inspection, said: “I am extremely confident that the school will build on the improvements that have already been made.”
If Sandown does not continue its improvements, Ofsted has the power to put it in special measures.