Portsmouth school ordered to become academy after Ofsted reveals safeguarding concerns
A PRIMARY school has seen its Ofsted judgement fall from good to inadequate in less than a year with concerns over children’s safety highlighted in the report.
As a result of the judgement, Corpus Christi Catholic Primary School is now required to become an academy and Portsmouth City Council is looking for a sponsor.
Inspectors stated: ‘Safeguarding is not effective. Pupils are potentially at risk of harm because leaders have not fulfilled their statutory duties.’
Leaders at the school have been instructed to ‘urgently improve safeguarding procedures’ with a directive that staff have read the statutory guidance on keeping children safe and know who to refer pupil welfare concerns to.’
The report highlighted potential issues over staff recruitment with improvements required to ensure recruitment checks adhere to statutory requirements.
Inspectors criticised the school’s central record of recruitment which was found to be incomplete. Recruitment records can include identity checks, relevant qualifications and Disclosure and Barring Service checks to identify individuals who may have a criminal record or are barred from working with children.
Leadership and management at the school was deemed to be inadequate. The report stated: ‘Changes in leadership and staffing have disrupted the work of the school.’
The role of governors was criticised with the governing body also warned to fulfil their duties regarding safeguarding’. Inspectors stated: ‘Governors have failed to comply with statutory duties to keep pupils safe. As a result, pupils have potentially been put at risk of harm.’
The council have said they have already responded to the concerns identified in the report.
Alison Jeffery, director of education, said: ‘Following the Ofsted inspection in June 2019 the council has worked closely with the school and the Portsmouth Catholic Diocese to address the safeguarding concerns identified. All statutory duties in relation to safeguarding were proactively and immediately addressed before the end of the summer term. The council is confident that those responsible for safeguarding work appropriately with families and other professionals to keep pupils safe.’
Teaching and learning was judged to require improvement with standards deemed to be inconsistent across the school. The report said that some teachers had weaknesses in their subject knowledge with mathematics identified as a particular area of concern.