After two years in special measures, a failing primary school is still suffering.
Two years after being placed in special measures, a primary school in Bootle has been warned it is still failing.
Following an inspection visit in June this year, Ofsted inspectors concluded that Holy Spirit Catholic Primary School in Poulsom Drive was not making sufficient progress toward the removal of special measures.
Inspectors claimed the school’s administrators “weren’t taking effective action toward the removal of special measures” and that both the school’s improvement plan and Sefton Council’s action plan were “not suitable for purpose” in a report released on Tuesday (July 20).
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Following an inspection in May 2019 that found Holy Spirit to be “inadequate,” the school was placed in special measures. Following a string of unsatisfactory Ofsted inspections in 2014 and 2016, the school was told it needed to improve.
Since the last inspection, the school’s leadership has seen “significant upheaval,” according to this month’s report, with current interim headteacher Clare Roberts being the second person to take on the post.
Her hiring came after the controversial head teacher Marcella Armstrong resigned near the end of 2020, allegedly after staff threatened to strike.
Mrs Armstrong had previously departed Huyton’s St Margaret Mary’s Catholic Junior School while under investigation for a variety of strange initiatives at the school, yet the Archdiocese of Liverpool nevertheless recommended her for the Holy Spirit role.
The inspectors stated that the “turmoil” at Holy Spirit had “a severe influence on the progress that leaders have achieved in resolving the school’s deficiencies.”
The inspectors highlighted that “many of the chronic problems identified in the 2019 inspection remain firmly in place,” despite the fact that the new leadership team had “accelerated” the pace of reform.
While reading and math scores have improved, inspectors discovered “system weaknesses” in other disciplines such as history and geography, with teachers unsure of what students should learn in each year group.
The inspectors said of the council’s statement of action, “Ofsted assessed the local authority’s statement of action to be unfit for purpose.” This is due to the fact that it does not adequately indicate.” “The summary comes to an end.”