OFSTED inspectors have acknowledged the hard work of Manor School’s former head teacher Alex Seaford in smoothing the amalgamation of the nursery and infant and junior schools in 2011.
But July’s inspection – released this week – says the school is judged to require special measures.
Despite the difficulties of amalgamation, they identified a range of issues that needed significant improvement.
The report notes that pupils had not made expected progress because teaching was often inconsistent and unchallenging. Inspectors said too many of the lessons they saw had a slow pace and the children were not always told what they needed to do to improve.
As a result, pupils did not achieve as they should in reading, writing and mathematics. Attainment was also low, especially in Key Stage 1.
However inspectors did find pupils’ behaviour had “clearly improved” and most lessons were “characterised by warm relationships between adults and pupils”. The school also offers a good range of activities to support their academic and personal development and many pupils enjoy school.
But, says the report, senior leaders did not have a clear enough focus on raising standards, both in the run-up to and following the formation of the all-through school; and financial controls were not of a high enough standard.
Thurrock Council took back financial control from the governing body in January and the inspectors said it had “provided significant support, including in the recruitment of well-qualified new governors with financial and educational expertise”.
Following the resignation of the head, an experienced interim head teacher, Adrian McNeillis, has been appointed. He will be working closely with governors and the council to address the areas for improvement outlined in the report.