South Shields school judged inadequate after Ofsted deems safeguarding of pupils “not good enough”

A South Shields primary school has been judged inadequate after a recent inspection by Ofsted raised concerns over the safeguarding of pupils.

Monday, 6th December 2021, 1:25 pm

Leadership and management at Ashley Primary School on Temple Park Road was also deemed to be inadequate with a lack of staff training in protecting the welfare of children and a lack of clarity in the safeguarding systems in place.

Lead inspector Gill Wild stated: “The arrangements for safeguarding are not effective. The school’s arrangements for safeguarding pupils are not good enough. This is because leaders and governors do not check well enough that safeguarding arrangements are secure.

"Staff have not completed the necessary safeguarding training. They are unable to recall key safeguarding messages. As a result, when concerns are raised, staff are not clear enough about what to do. This means not all concerns are raised and dealt with.”

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The report also criticised the safeguarding governance of the school.

Ms Wild added: “Governors are not fully aware of their statutory responsibilities to keep children safe. At the time of the inspection the single central record was not fully compliant because checks had not been fully recorded.

"Leaders should immediately strengthen safeguarding arrangements by ensuring all policies and procedures, including risk assessments, are reviewed, updated as appropriate, and fully implemented and understood by all staff.

Ashley Primary School in South Shields has been judged as inadequate following a recent Ofsted inspection. Photograph: Google

"Leaders should also provide updated training on latest guidance and legislation on a regular basis.”

The report also criticised the school’s curriculum plans which “did not identify what pupils should learn and when” and that staff are “not clear how pupils build their knowledge over time in foundation subjects”.

Inspectors identified a lack of sequential learning in assessing and building on previous knowledge to “ensure pupils learn the crucial content in a logical way”.

Following the inspection, the school moved to reassure parents about the welfare of pupils. A statement issued by the school’s leaders said: "We would like to reassure parents and carers that, in partnership with the Local Authority, we have taken swift action to address concerns about the safeguarding process raised by inspectors.

"While we recognise that we must do better, it’s important to be really clear there were no immediate safeguarding concerns. Inspectors found that the children learn how to keep themselves safe, both off and online, and are aware of potential risks in the local community. Moreover, pupils say they feel safe at school.”

A spokesman for South Tyneside Council added: “We have taken immediate action to address those areas raised by Ofsted Inspectors and are committed to working with the school on securing the further improvements needed.”

Despite being deemed to be inadequate overall, the school was judged to be good for behaviour and personal development while the quality of education and Early Years provision was categorised as requiring improvement.

The report stated: “All staff have high expectations for pupils’ behaviour both inside and outside of the classroom. As a result, pupils behave well. There are very few incidents of disruption to learning. Pupils are interested in their lessons and concentrate well.

"Pupils are aware of what it means to be a good citizen.”

The statement from school leaders added: “We are pleased that inspectors did find positive progress since the last inspection, particularly in reading and maths and found our pupils to be well behaved.”

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