Berrow Primary School

Berrow Primary School says it is working to improve its standards after it was rated ‘inadequate’ by Ofsted inspectors.

Their report on Berrow School, published this month, highlights shortcomings in the school’s safeguarding, quality of education and working relationships.

Ofsted’s report also says many parents “have little confidence in leaders’ ability to address bullying” and “a lack confidence in the leadership of the school.” It was visited in September by two inspectors.

The Ofsted report says: “Leaders have not ensured that the culture of safeguarding is rigorous. While pupils feel well cared for, systems and processes are not securely understood or consistently used by everyone.”

“This puts pupils at risk. Over recent years, senior leaders and governors have not tackled weaknesses in the school effectively. This means pupils are not getting a good quality of education.”

It adds: “Working relationships between senior leaders, governors and staff are poor. This has diverted the focus away from school improvement. Pupils with special education needs and/or disabilities (SEND) do not consistently have their needs well met.”

“Recent improvements mean that many more pupils have their needs clearly identified. However, a lack of staff knowledge about how to meet these needs means that pupils are not learning well.”

The school told this week that it’s working to make sure the report’s recommendations are put into action.

The report also praises several positive aspects of the school including its Berrow School Community Star awards that put pupils at the heart of the village.

Children are also given experiences that help develop their characters – such as its outdoor festival and outdoor classroom – and have positions of reponsibility such as being house captain or school councillor.

Pupils’ physical and mental health is well supported by the curriculum, and staff members have developed positive relationships with parents.

Lee Chandler, headteacher of Berrow School, told “We recognise that the recent Ofsted rating is disappointing and it is clear that standards need to be raised.”

“However, there were some positives within the report, including the good relationships between staff and parents, and the behaviour, work ethic and listening skills of the pupils.”

“The report acknowledges that the school has been making improvements and work is underway to ensure all the recommendations are heeded and actioned so that all our children receive the education they deserve.”

The school is getting support from Somerset County Council to make improvements and Cllr Tessa Munt, the County Council’s lead executive member for children and families, adds: “We have been actively supporting Berrow School since issuing a statutory warning notice in autumn of last year due to a challenging set of circumstances in the school.”

“The school leadership is now responding to this challenge and while there is still a lot to do, the foundations are being laid for improvement.”

“In particular, we are confident that this school will benefit from rapid academisation and the support a strong local trust can provide.”


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