IN THE on-going debate over Ofsted inspections and standards of primary school teaching in Thurrock, the latest monitoring visit by Ofsted to Lansdowne Academy in Tilbury has an interesting angle to it.
To all intents and purposes the school has all the hallmarks of an independent school with an arms length relationship with the local education authority.
It is now part of the Gateway Learning Community. Its chief executive is Kevin Sadler and the principal is Richard Epps.
The school has been told by Ofsted that it requires improvement.
It has returned to the school but the report makes a number of criticisms of the school.
“Leaders monitor the quality of teaching by visiting classrooms, tracking the progress of pupils and looking at the work in their books. Leaders are not yet routinely considering the results of this monitoring together to give an accurate picture of teaching over time. Teachers receive targets to improve their practice but these are not routinely followed through to subsequent observations to ensure that matters improve quickly.
“Academy improvement plans address all of the areas for improvement from the January 2013 inspection and leaders have set very helpful milestone targets, which set the expectations for each term. These do not include targets for the attainment and progress of pupils in each year group however. This makes it difficult for governors and the board of directors to monitor progress rigorously.
“The board of directors has responsibility for standards and progress. It has set targets for the attainment, the quality of teaching and attendance across all four academies in the learning community. However, the roles of the board of directors and the governing body have not been defined well enough. The trust has not set out clearly enough how the academy is monitored and challenged.
The Ofsted inspectors also note that the school is being helped by a “neighbouring local authority” as well as a number of consultants.
It also notes that the chair of governors has resigned and an acting chair is in place.