Estyn report: school failed to be pro-active in protecting children’s safety and well-being
Richard Evans, Local Democracy Reporter
A Rhyl Catholic school in special measures has failed to be pro-active enough to protect pupils’ well-being and safety, an inspection report has revealed.
Christ the Word Catholic School has also not delivered effective and high-quality teaching that challenges pupils, hampering children’s progress.
The information was presented to Denbighshire’s governance and audit committee where members scrutinised the Estyn school inspection report before the council will revisit the matter in November.
The school on Cefndy Road has 784 pupils of statutory age and caters for children aged 3-16 years old.
The meeting’s chair David Stewart said he was concerned about the problems at the school and added that lessons needed to be learned by the authority.,
“I was quite concerned when I heard about it and read it (the report). What is happening with this report?” said the chair.
“Will we, as a committee, get assurance that action is being taken and any lessons that need to be learned applied elsewhere in the education service?”
Council officer Gary Williams informed councillors that the matter would return to the council’s performance scrutiny committee on November 24.
He added that the committee will be inviting a representative from the regional school service, the catholic diocese’s head of education, the headteacher, and the chair of the school’s governing board.
Mr Williams said: “The purpose of the report in the forward work programme is to present the response and action plan following the Estyn inspection and to determine regular monitoring arrangements for the agreed actions to address the recommendations contained within the report with a view to securing continual improvement and insuring lessons are learned by all stakeholders and are applied across all schools in Denbighshire.”
The Estyn report’s overview reads: “Despite this commitment, leaders are not proactive enough in addressing issues related to the well-being and safeguarding of pupils, and arrangements to keep pupils safe need to be strengthened.
“Many pupils are happy to be at school and move between lessons calmly; they are polite and courteous to visitors and are keen to share their views. They begin to explore their spiritual beliefs and develop empathy, respect, and compassion for others.
“Leaders have not done enough to ensure that high-quality teaching and learning are at the heart of the school’s work, and they do not have a strategic overview and vision that focuses sufficiently on pupils’ learning and progress.
“Across the school, teaching is not effective enough in challenging pupils to do their best and develop as enthusiastic, inquisitive learners. As a result, many pupils across the age range do not make sufficient progress in developing their knowledge, skills, and understanding.
“Teachers’ expectations of what pupils can achieve are too low and they often plan tasks that keep pupils busy but do not support their learning. The evaluation of classroom provision has not been effective.
“Leaders do not focus closely enough on the impact of provision on pupils’ learning, and as a result, they have an overly positive view of the school’s work. Overall, leaders have not been effective enough in improving important aspects of the school’s work, such as the quality of classroom provision and its impact on pupil progress.”
The report concluded: “Leaders do not have a strategic approach to curriculum design and delivery, and therefore pupils are not provided with a suitable depth and breadth of learning experiences.
“Furthermore, the planning for the progressive development of pupils’ skills is not cohesive or effective enough. As a result, pupils do not get sufficient opportunities to improve their knowledge, understanding, and skills throughout the school.”
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Estyn is more of a hindrance than a help. Putting more and more pressure on teachers, which results in more pressure on the young learners themselves, never produces positive results.
Listen, please, Education Minister.
No wonder so many teachers, including some of my colleagues – who are excellent teachers – are looking to get out of the profession.
A few years ago there was a big song and dance about following the excellent education system in Finland – including more positive support for schools and no unhelpful inspections. What happened to that great idea?
Education will improve massively when teachers are given more support and less attack!