Portsmouth primary school given worst Ofsted rating

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A THIRD primary school in Portsmouth has been placed in the worst Ofsted category for failing to give its pupils an acceptable standard of education.

The damning inspection of Meredith Infants in North End, which is now in special measures, has coincided with its head of three years Lynn Counsell standing down due to serious health problems.

It joins Highbury and Paulsgrove primaries in rankings – although these two schools were recently judged by Ofsted to be making satisfactory progress.

In the Meredith Infants report inspectors cited a lack of clear direction in ‘leadership at the highest level’, inadequate teaching, poor pupil attainment, bad attendance levels and only satisfactory behaviour.

Inspector Susan Mann reported: ‘The senior leadership team and subject leaders have been ineffective in tackling weaknesses and lack a sense of urgency in prioritising and addressing key inadequacies.

‘Many pupils are keen to learn and eager to participate in school life. However, provision for their learning does not meet their needs.’

Portsmouth City Council is now recruiting a temporary head to lead the school until a permanent appointment is made.

It is also providing advice and support for governors and teachers.

Caroline Hopkins, chair of governors, said: ‘We are obviously very disappointed with this outcome, but we are committed to raising attainment and we do have high aspirations.

‘We want to make sure children who come to our school get the best possible education.’

Ex-head Mrs Counsell sent a letter to parents explaining the reasons for her departure. She wrote: ‘My health has not been very good for the past year and in particular I have suffered from recurring voice loss since last June.

‘As a result I attended hospital and discovered that my voice loss is more serious than first thought.’