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Malpas Church in Wales Primary School

Level of follow-up: Special measures

Removed: November 2022

Malpas Church in Wales Primary School was inspected in November 2019 and placed in special measures. Inspectors identified fractured relationships between staff and leaders, as well as a lack of a clear, strategic direction. The school’s tracking systems did not support leaders to identify whether all pupils were making the progress that they should. Leaders’ monitoring did not identify or address weak classroom practice.

During the spring term 2020, prior to the pandemic, an interim acting headteacher from a neighbouring school worked with the deputy headteacher for a term to create a suitable post-inspection action plan. In the autumn of 2020, an acting executive headteacher was appointed to lead the school for a year, while the governing body recruited a substantive headteacher.

The new headteacher took up his post in September 2021. This leadership stability enabled the school to redefine everyone’s roles and responsibilities, and to establish clear and agreed minimum expectations for classroom practice. Over the course of the year, the pace of improvement gathered momentum and staff and leaders at all levels worked together collaboratively. Strong channels of communication ensured that everyone was well informed and kept abreast of events. As a result, the school rapidly established a clear sense of community and identity, focused on improving the provision and outcomes for pupils.

In addition, leaders established regular professional learning events, alongside weekly staff and leadership meetings. They devised a series of essential guides that spelled out the robust expectations agreed by all staff, covering distinct aspects of the school’s provision. Consequently, the quality of classroom practice began to improve. Teachers raised their expectations of what their pupils could and should achieve. They worked together to develop the extensive outdoor space into a purposeful, well-used learning environment, and classrooms became productive, stimulating places to learn. The additional learning needs co-ordinator monitored the additional support that adults provided for pupils with additional learning needs and ensured that the provision matched their individual needs.

By the autumn 2022, following termly monitoring, inspectors noted that leaders and staff worked together constructively and productively to create a shared sense of purpose and ownership. They identified a developing pride in the quality of education that staff deliver, following improvements to the classroom provision. As a result, the school was removed from special measures in November 2022.