UPDATED: Headteacher ‘not surprised’ by damning report

Jane Cartlidge, headteacher of Southfield Primary Academy
Jane Cartlidge, headteacher of Southfield Primary Academy

An academy school has been placed in special measures because of ‘weak teaching’ and ‘falling standards’.

Inadequate Southfield Primary Academy in Brackley was slammed by government inspectors who found many of its 294 children, aged three to 11, are not making enough progress.

Southfield Primary Academy in Brackley

Southfield Primary Academy in Brackley

They are too ‘boisterous’ at playtime, too noisy at lunch and their reading and writing skills are particularly underdeveloped.

An inadequate school - the lowest possible grading - has ‘serious weaknesses’ and must receive regular monitoring from now on.

Ofsted inspectors found teachers fail to match work to pupil ability, their progress is not tracked and children quickly become bored when teaching is ‘unexciting’.

But despite the damning report, headteacher Jane Cartlidge says she is a good leader and describes the school as a ‘brilliant place to learn’.

Southfield Primary Academy, Brackley, Ofsted report. Jane Cartlidge, headteacher. NNL-150113-135654009

Southfield Primary Academy, Brackley, Ofsted report. Jane Cartlidge, headteacher. NNL-150113-135654009

She said: “It’s not a surprise and we have to accept it.

“If you are a good leader, that comes through and the Ofsted backs that up – there were six positive points and nine negative ones.

“I’ve been here since April 30 and in that time, we have put things in place.

“The inspectors said they had no time to measure those things.

“Parents are naturally concerned by it but we know we are doing the right things – results will show that.

“The majority of the comments have been overwhelmingly supportive.

“We have wonderful pupils, hardworking staff and supportive parents – all the ingredients to make our school the best that it can be.”

Ofsted found disadvantaged pupils’ reading is eight terms behind their classmates and nine terms behind others nationally.

They are seven terms behind their peers and almost eight terms behind pupils nationally at maths.

They are six terms behind at writing and seven terms behind all pupils nationally.

Attainment at Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 has fallen to below national average.

Work does not build on previous learning or take into account what pupils already know so work is either too hard or too easy.

The school, previously rated as ‘good’, converted to an academy in 2012 and this is the first inspection since

its new status.

Inspectors found the school has limited resources, not enough computers and governors are too relaxed in holding the school to account for pupils’ achievement.

However, Ofsted acknowledged that improvements are taking place and it is ‘too early’ to show their impact.

Inspectors also said the curriculum ‘prepares pupils well for life in modern Britain’ and that parents have confidence in the new leadership.

They praised teaching in the Early Years, pupils’ knowledge of safety and their good behaviour in class.

Chair of governors Lee Marland said: “We have every confidence that our school will bring about the necessary improvements to ensure that every pupil fulfils their full potential – academically, socially and emotionally.

“The governing body are working together to support the staff, pupils and parents in this journey of rapid school improvement.

“We are excited about the future of Southfield Primary Academy.”