Bath school 'disappointed' with Ofsted's rating
The head teacher of a Bath primary school whose Ofsted grading has dropped from good to satisfactory has expressed her disappointment with a new inspection regime.
Inspectors spent two days at St Andrew's Primary School, in Northampton Street, last month, observing lessons and meeting staff and pupils.
Despite recognising that children enjoyed lessons, their behaviour was good and that steps had been taken to tackle a drop in academic achievement last year, the report said that more needed to be done to raise standards.
Head teacher Sue East blamed the new, lower rating on the fact that Ofsted was now more focused on last summer's exam results, rather than the quality of teaching on offer now.
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She said: "The Ofsted judgment of satisfactory is most disappointing.
"Parents who know the school well know St Andrew's has improved significantly since the last inspection, when it was judged to be good. The satisfactory judgment does not equate to the school they know today and the school they knew then.
"If we were a big school with large classes, this would not have happened, it is an effect of a small sample size."
Mrs East added that all the teachers observed were given good or outstanding feedback, but that because achievement was graded as satisfactory, that had to dictate the overall rating.
The 176-pupil school has a higher than average proportion of children taking free school meals and children with special needs.
Its percentage of children from ethnic minorities is twice the national average and around a third of pupils speak English as a second language.
There has also been an issue with falling pupil numbers and the Ofsted report recognised that St Andrew's has to deal with a large number of youngsters arriving and leaving during the middle of a school year.
However, last summer the Key Stage 2 Sats results were among the lowest in B&NES, with only 41 per cent of pupils gaining the expected level in English and maths.
The report highlighted a number of a positives about the school, but said ultimately there needed to be more focus on providing challenging teaching and a more rigorous focus on improving exam results.