‘Inadequate’ Royston school declares safeguarding issues resolved

Roman Way First School in Royston has been deemed 'inadequate' by Ofsted inspectors.

Roman Way First School in Royston has been deemed 'inadequate' by Ofsted inspectors. - Credit: Archant

A Royston school says it has resolved safeguarding issues that led inspectors to brand it inadequate.

Roman Way First School, in Burns Road, has received an overall ‘inadequate’ rating from Ofsted inspectors after visits from July to November last year.

The school – which received an overall ‘good’ rating when last inspected, in 2013 – has now been deemed to have ‘inadequate’ leadership and management. The school was deemed to ‘require improvement’ in all other fields.

The poor ratings were partly due to the inspectors deeming safeguarding at the school to be “ineffective”, with safeguarding “not well established throughout the school”.

Ofsted deemed the school’s leaders and governors unable to stem the decline in standards since 2013. The inspectors wrote: “Governors and the local authority have not held leaders sharply enough to account for standards in the school.”

Other areas of criticism included pupils’ behaviour, and a lack of consistency regarding staff guidance to pupils.

Children were described as not making the progress they could, and activities were reported not to meet the needs of students with special needs or disabilities.

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Positives highlighted in the report included the acting head Pat Baxter’s work seeking external advice and improving support for vulnerable pupils, and the school’s improvement in the field of phonics to come in line with the national average.

Roman Way First chair of governors Julie Inwood said in response: “We were obviously very disappointed with the ‘inadequate’ rating, which we feel is not a true indication of the quality of the school.

“Under Ofsted guidelines, when safeguarding is found to be ineffective – as was the case this time – this automatically results in a judgement of ‘ineffective’ for leadership and management and overall effectiveness. The safeguarding issues identified were quickly remedied and procedures have been tightened.

“However, although Ofsted identified a number of strengths in the school, there is no doubt we have work to do.

“We believe the school is in a strong position to move forward – progress has already been very rapid and many of the areas are no longer weaknesses.

“Both the staff and governors are committed to regaining the previous ‘good’ Ofsted rating, and making Roman Way First a school the community can be proud of.”