Ofsted at St Mary’s this week?

Headteacher Kathy McNicholas at Leyland St Mary's
Headteacher Kathy McNicholas at Leyland St Mary's

Ofsted inspectors have finally paid a visit to Leyland St Mary’s this week, the Guardian understands.

Last week, the Guardian reported that the education watchdog was being accused of ‘failing’ pupils at the school after not taking action following months of staff disputes.

Angry parents had written to Ofsted demanding an inspection, and the Guardian understands that inspectors were on site yesterday.

Ofsted has not confirmed or denied the rumours, but a spokesman said that it would intervene if there were ‘qualifying complaints’ from parents.

St Mary’s was last judged ‘good’ in 2011.

A Ofsted spokesman said: “Ofsted does not comment on individual schools. However, for schools judged at their last inspection to be good, the timing of its next full inspection is determined by a risk assessment of its subsequent performance.

“If the risk assessment process raises concerns about the school’s performance, we can bring an inspection forward.”

They added that in conducting a risk assessment, Ofsted analyses:

- Pupils’ academic achievement over time, taking account of both attainment and progress,

- Pupils’ attendance,

- The outcomes of any inspections, such as survey inspections, carried out by Ofsted since the last routine inspection,

- The views of parents, including those shown by Parent View, an online questionnaire for parents,

- Qualifying complaints about the school referred to Ofsted by parents or carers,

- Any other significant concerns that are brought to Ofsted’s attention.

Using Parent View, 73 per cent answered that they ‘strongly disagree’ or ‘disagree’ that Leyland St Mary’s is well led and managed.

Just 22 per cent said they ‘strongly agree’ or ‘agree’, and four per cent said they didn’t know.

Sixty-one per cent ‘strongly disagree’ or ‘disagree’ that the school responds well to any concerns raised; 68 per cent say they don’t receive valuable information from the school about their child’s progress, and 69 per cent said they wouldn’t recommend the school to another parent.

Parents answered more favourably when asked if their child is happy, safe and well looked after, and parents were fairly split down the middle when it came to questions about children making good progress, being taught well, receiving appropriate homework for their age, being well behaved, and the school dealing effectively with bullying.

The school will receive its Ofsted report two weeks after the end of the inspection, and it will be made public on Ofsted’s website around a week later.

- The Guardian has left a message with the school office to speak to the headteacher.