Welwyn Garden City school’s governors determined to make improvements after damning Ofsted report

Welwyn Garden City's Springmead Primary School

Welwyn Garden City's Springmead Primary School - Credit: Archant

A Welwyn Garden City primary school’s governors have pledged to do all they can to get it back on track after the school was branded ‘inadequate’ in its latest Ofsted report.

Springmead, which was previously graded as ‘good’, has published the damning inspection report on its website, in which it was revealed school chiefs’ relationships with many parents had “irreconcilably broken down”.

But in a letter to parents, the chairman of the board of governors Lynn Attwood said it would do everything possible to turn the school around.

She wrote: “We hope you will share this journey with us as we strive to achieve a ‘good’ Ofsted rating again, with the aspiration of one day achieving ‘outstanding’.

“We will not settle for mediocre as your children are valued and matter.”

In the report, former headteacher Jennifer Moles, who took over in September 2015, was told she had not ensured that other leaders had clear roles, and as a result leadership at all levels was not adequately effective.

She resigned one day into the inspection, with the chair of governors citing “unexpected personal circumstances”.

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Inspectors also noted that exclusions at the Hilly Fields school had soared – particularly for pupils with special educational needs and disabilities.

The report read: “The school’s work to promote pupils’ personal development and welfare is inadequate.

“This is because some pupils who have special educational needs and/or disabilities in the main school are not provided with equality of opportunity, and are prevented from learning due to frequent exclusions.

“Leaders do not provide appropriate care and provision for excluded pupils once they return to prevent reoccurrence.

“Leaders resort to exclusions too quickly.”

It follows research by the WHT that previously found there had been 24 pupil exclusions between September 2015 and December 2016, compared to 18 in the previous five academic years combined.

However, Ms Attwood said: “Since this term began, the Positive Behaviour Policy has been modified to ensure correct and consistent application across the school.

“Using the methods adopted by the Base Unit, all staff across the school have now been trained in this approach.”

She added: “We recognise there is much work to do. As you are aware, two highly experienced and esteemed headteachers, Mrs Seymour and Mrs Petitt, joined us this term.

“Both headteachers and the governing body are committed to raising standards and have already started to focus on the priorities identified by Ofsted.”

For the full report, visit the school’s website .