Head teacher of Sandal Primary School, Baildon, Bradford, admits maths teaching progress too slow (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Intensive support from Bradford Council to get school back on track
The head teacher of a school which had its teaching of maths slammed in a recent Ofsted report has admitted that improvements had not been made quickly enough.
Sandal Primary School, in Baildon, was rated as ‘inadequate’ after an inspection in January, having been ‘satisfactory’ in 2011 and ‘good’ in 2008. Paul Richardson said the school was now receiving “intensive support” from Bradford Council to make improvements.
Ofsted inspectors said that while pupils enjoyed school and felt safe, maths teaching was “inadequate” and the pace of learning in those classes “too slow.”
The Ofsted report said maths was the school’s main priority, but it was “not being led effectively enough to ensure improvement happens quickly.”
Mr Richardson said: “We started making changes to the way maths is taught in school before the inspection and, unfortunately, the progress made was not fast enough.
“We accept the report and we are already working hard to bring about further improvements.”
Mr Richardson, who was already due to retire at Easter, will work alongside newly appointed executive head teacher Colleen Jackson.
He added: “School is already working on a number of improvement strategies that will enable our pupils to reach their full potential and reflect the high expectations and aspirations our parents have for their children.”
Parent Nicola Dobbie, who has a four-year-old at the school, said some parents were disappointed and worried about the Ofsted report, but that the school had been very open about its rating. She said it was an opportunity for improvement. Mr Richardson added: “We are aware that some of our parents were disappointed with the report; however, some parents have already expressed their support for the school.
“Others have told the school how well their children have progressed over the years at Sandal.”
Last autumn the school reorganised how maths is taught so pupils are split by ability, but inspectors said too often teachers were not successfully matching pupils’ work to their level of understanding.
The school, in West Lane, was also criticised for having leaders who were slow to identify weaknesses in maths teaching. But the report praised English lessons.
Councillor Ralph Berry, Bradford Council’s executive member for children’s services, said: “We are working with the school to bring about faster improvement in line with the comments made by the inspection team in the Ofsted report, especially in relation to improvements in mathematics.”