A PRIMARY school in Chard has been told to improve in its latest Ofsted report. 

Manor Court Primary School, Duck Lane, was rated as "requires improvement" in its latest inspection that took place in July. 

The school was marked "requires improvement" in four areas and "good" in one. 

The report highlighted that attendance is below the national average and that leaders don't ensure that additional funding is used effectively. 

Nathan Kemp, lead inspector, said: "Over time governors have not held senior leaders sufficiently to account. Their ability to identify areas of strength and weakness has been limited. As a result, outcomes for pupils have not been good enough over recent years.

"Middle leaders do not make rigorous checks on the performance of key groups. As a result, the progress of some pupils stalls.

"Until recently, leaders have not provided teachers with sufficient guidance to improve the quality of teaching, learning and assessment.

"Attendance is below the national average. Too many pupils are persistently absent from school.

"Teachers’ expectations of pupils’ presentation are not consistently high. As a result, pupils do not always demonstrate pride in their work.

"The curriculum does not support pupils’ good development of knowledge, understanding and skills, particularly in history and geography.

"Leaders do not ensure that additional funding is used effectively to support disadvantaged pupils. Consequently, too many disadvantaged pupils are not making enough progress.

"Teachers do not use assessment information consistently well to inform their expectations of what pupils can or cannot do. Too few pupils work at age-related expectations. In addition, the most able are not challenged enough, limiting the number of pupils reaching the higher standards they are capable of.

"Leaders do not yet have a detailed overview of the effectiveness of provision for pupils who have special educational needs and/or disabilities."

The report also pointed out the school's strengths. 

It stated: 

  • The new headteacher and more effective external support have raised expectations across the school. Outcomes are improving.
  • Pupils’ conduct around the school is good. Pupils are polite and courteous throughout the school day.
  • The early years provision is a strength. Leaders’ effective actions are improving outcomes of key groups.
  • The teaching of reading is rapidly improving. Pupils have positive attitudes towards reading and speak passionately about their favourite books.

Head teacher, Luke Talmage, said: "As a local boy and former pupil of Manor Court Primary I am deeply committed to the school and the wider community and have taken swift and effective action to address the concerns raised by Ofsted to ensure that the school is now firmly on an upward trajectory.

"Actions taken include the appointment of an early intervention worker to provide support for families and to improve attendance, the introduction of twenty-one after-school clubs to enrich the curriculum, and establishing links with key pillars in the community, including the mayors office and St Mary's Church.

"We're ramping up Continued Professional Development and support for teachers including In Service Training for maths and English, lesson observations and learning walks guaranteed to improve the quality of teaching and learning. All teaching staff also visited an outstanding teaching school in Yeovil and have forged professional relationships with colleagues in this school.

"We've appointed a new Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO) who ensures funding and additional support is in place for pupils with SEN and that teachers are well informed about their needs.

"There are Governor meetings and progress reports every three weeks. The middle leader checks on pupil performance and new teaching and learning targets have been developed and agreed by all teaching staff.

"We've also implemented a change to the uniform which we insist is worn correctly at all times, building a sense of pride for all children who attend our school."

Mr Simon Peck, Chief Executive Officer of the Collaborative Academies Trust, said: "Inspectors recognised that the school has improved recently and that we have the right leadership and support to make it even better. 

"Under Mr Talmage's leadership I am confident that Manor Court will go from strength to strength."