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School needs to help pupils progress more

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Balfour Primary School Head Teacher Marcelo Staricoff

A POPULAR school has been warned it needs to improve as disadvantaged and special needs pupils are being left behind and the most able pupils are not being challenged enough.

Balfour Primary School in Brighton has seen its rating downgraded by the schools regulator Ofsted after it was found that disadvantaged pupils make slower progress than their peers, especially in writing.

Inspectors said: “Additional support for pupils who have special educational needs and or disabilities does not help them to make sufficient academic progress.

“Sometimes, the most able pupils are not sufficiently challenged in lessons. This slows their progress over time.”

Despite the rating dropping from Good to requires improvement the inspectors said teaching is improving.

They added: “Improved teaching of reading has led to stronger outcomes in the phonics screening check at the end of Year 1. Pupils make rapid progress in reading in key stage 2.

“Children make a good start to their education in the reception Year. Parents are very happy

with the support their children receive when they start school.”

The inspectors said leaders and staff at the school in Balfour Road “care deeply about pupils’ personal development and welfare.

“Leaders have planned a broad and balanced curriculum that provides pupils with a range of

exciting learning experiences and opportunities. New governors are already having a

demonstrable impact on helping the school to improve quickly.”

In a statement headteacher Marcelo Staricoff and chairwoman of the governors Rachel Cashman said: “This outcome is very disappointing for all of us as a community. Our services are only as good as those delivered for the most in need and it is clear from the results of this Ofsted inspection that in the last five years we could and should have done more to ensure the potential of every disadvantaged child, every child with special educational needs or disability and each of our most able pupils was optimally supported.

Despite this final judgement, we are pleased that the inspectors recognised the fact that we are an improving school and as a result graded the school as Good in all other areas.

“We are incredibly proud of Balfour Primary School and are pleased that so much of the dedicated hard work of our teaching and support staff was acknowledged in this report. We are determined to continue to adapt and improve our provision to ensure that we are able to maximise the potential of all our children.

“We would like to reassure you that the school is already working on every point raised by the inspection team.”

The school will have a monitoring visit in a year’s time followed by a second full inspection in no later than 30 months. The school is able to call Ofsted and request an earlier inspection if sufficient progress is made sooner than within the 30 months timescale.


Source: The Argus