Ur­gent changes re­quired at school

Safety con­cerns

The Press and Journal (Inverness, Highlands, and Islands) - - FRONT PAGE - BY LOUISE GLEN

Anorth school and nurs­ery have been crit­i­cised by in­spec­tors who told them to make im­me­di­ate changes to the way it pro­tects and safe­guards chil­dren.

In a re­port, gov­ern­ment in­spec­tors raise ques­tions over Gran­town Pri­mary School and Nurs­ery – with some changes la­belled as ur­gent.

Cit­ing a high turnover of man­age­ment staff in the pre­vi­ous five years, the re­port stated: “Cur­rently the head­teacher, de­pute head­teacher and prin­ci­pal teacher are all act­ing posts which be­gan in Au­gust 2018.”

But it was the pro­tect­ing and safe­guard­ing of in­fants and chil­dren that raised the great­est con­cern for both Her Majesty’s In­spec­tors of Schools and the Care In­spec­torate.

The re­port stated: “The school sub­mit­ted self­e­val­u­a­tion in­for­ma­tion re­lated to child pro­tec­tion and safe­guard­ing.

“In­spec­tors dis­cussed this in­for­ma­tion with rel­e­vant staff and, where ap­pro­pri­ate, chil­dren.

“In ad­di­tion, in­spec­tors ex­am­ined a sam­ple of safe­guard­ing doc­u­men­ta­tion.

“Ar­eas for de­vel­op­ment have been agreed with the school and the ed­u­ca­tion au­thor­ity that need to be ad­dressed as a mat­ter of ur­gency.”

In a let­ter to par­ents, it said: “We are not at present con­fi­dent from our short visit that the school has ef­fec­tive ar­range­ments for en­sur­ing con­tin­u­ing im­prove­ment in the qual­ity of ed­u­ca­tion for all learn­ers.”

In the school, of the four ar­eas of in­spec­tion it un­der­took it graded the school weak in every area, while the nurs­ery class faired bet­ter with three ar­eas be­ing graded as ad­e­quate and one, qual­ity of en­vi­ron­ment, as good.

The crit­i­cisms of the school were wide rang­ing, the in­spec­tor said: “The lack of fo­cus and di­rec­tion has there­fore not im­proved the ethos of the school.

“Learn­ing is not suf­fi­ciently chal­leng­ing and this is hav­ing a neg­a­tive im­pact on the pace of learn­ing and im­ped­ing ap­pro­pri­ate progress for chil­dren. There is con­sid­er­able scope for staff to have higher as­pi­ra­tions and shared un­der­stand­ing of what most chil­dren are ca­pa­ble of achiev­ing.

“Se­nior lead­ers should pro­vide clearer lead­er­ship to en­sure in­di­vid­u­alised ed­u­ca­tional pro­grammes are con­sid­ered for care ex­pe­ri­enced chil­dren and those with iden­ti­fied needs.”

The school and nurs­ery was praised for its chil­dren be­ing “en­thu­si­as­tic and proud” of their achieve­ments, and the team­work of all staff across the school and nurs­ery.

A High­land Coun­cil spokes­woman said: “Fol­low­ing on from an in­spec­tion at Gran­town Pri­mary School by Ed­u­ca­tion Scot­land and the Care In­spec­torate in Septem­ber 2018, the High­land Coun­cil will be pro­vid­ing ad­di­tional sup­port to the teach­ing team in Gran­town Pri­mary School.

“This will build on cur­rent strengths in the school; but will fo­cus on the clear steer pro­vided by In­spec­tors’ find­ings, as with any in­spec­tion re­port.”

“A neg­a­tive im­pact on the pace of learn­ing”

Pho­to­graph by Sandy McCook

FAILS GRADE: In­spec­tors say some changes re­quired at Gran­town Pri­mary School and Nurs­ery are ur­gent.

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