‘Racist behaviour’ reported as Bedgrove Junior School placed in special measures

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A dramatic decline in standards and ‘racist behaviour’ at Bedgrove Junior School has been reported by Ofsted.

Following an inspection in July, the Aylesbury school has been placed in special measures, with a report out today revealing there is ‘widespread underachievement’.

In its last inspection by the watchdog in 2010, the school was rated ‘outstanding’, the highest grade possible. Following an inspection in July, today’s report says it is ‘inadequate’, the worst rating.

The report says ‘a few pupils occasionally behave in a racist way’ and that parents are not always told about such incidents.

The school, which has 473 pupils, said it is ‘extremely disappointed’ with the inspection result and it is already acting on recommendations with Bucks County Council’s help.

This includes making classroom monitoring more effective, providing extra small group support for children who are not making good progress and creating a ‘teachers’ planning environment’ in which good ideas are shared.

Among the other concerns raised by the report were:

> Pupils progress if patchy and not good enough

> Teaching fails to meet the needs of a significant number of pupils

> Marking does not tell pupils clearly enough what they need to do to improve

> Leaders and managers have been too slow in recognising and tackling underachievement

The school says that in the past year it has been concentrating on raising the quality of teaching, helping children be ‘active learners’ and introducing an initiative to improve the quality of pupils’ writing.

Acting headteacher Donna Skinner said: “Early in the last academic year we had identified areas for improvement and have worked very hard on these.

“Initiatives like these take time to bed in and while they’re already having a very positive effect on teaching and learning we’ll be better able to measure the benefits as we work through the coming year.”

The report did identify a number of strengths at the school, including that pupils are able to talk about staying safe online, students are usually polite and some teaching is good, such as in science.

Mrs Skinner said a meeting has been arranged for tomorrow (October 9) to tell parents about the report and answer their questions.

Chairman of governors Wendy Jarvis said: “Mrs Skinner and our staff are totally committed to working with Ofsted and Buckinghamshire County Council, who will ensure that the skills and experience needed to speed up improvements and move the school quickly out of special measures are readily available.

“This is good news for parents, the staff, and most importantly our children.”