Bullying fears see Bramley Grange Primary downgraded by inspectors

OFSTED’S visit to a failing school saw a “significant” number of concerns raised about bullying — from both pupils and staff.

OFSTED’S visit to a failing school saw a “significant” number of concerns raised about bullying — from both pupils and staff.

Bramley Grange Primary has been downgraded from “good” to “inadequate,” an inspection report published on Friday confirmed.

More than two-thirds of pupils who responded to Ofsted’s questions said that bullying happens, with some saying they feel unsafe when an adult is not close by.

But the problem was mirrored among the adults working at the 242-pupil school on Howard Road, inspectors learned.

The Ofsted report said: “A very high proportion of staff are unhappy in the workplace and feel that they are not treated with respect.

“A significant number of staff reported bullying in the workplace during this inspection.”

Meanwhile, a “high proportion” of parents and carers told Ofsted they were concerned about the lack of communication from school leaders — saying they were “unapproachable”.

Over time, inspectors said, the governors and trustees had too readily accepted leaders’ assurances that all aspects of school life were improving.

“They have underestimated the frailty of staff wellbeing,” added the report, which followed Ofsted’s visit last October.

English and maths had been prioritised but other subjects were not planned or taught effectively, inspectors said, with most subject leaders new to their roles.

The physical set-up of the school was also criticised, with the report saying: “The learning environment does not interest children or stimulate their curiosity well.”

A recent change has seen pupils with special educational needs or disabilities integrated with the main classes.

Youngsters said they enjoyed being part of the class, although there were warnings that some were over-reliant on their support staff and not developing independence.

Safeguarding arrangements were said to be effected, with leaders ensuring that staff have regular training to ensure the can recognise signs that a pupil may be at risk of harm.

Trustees said they were extremely disappointed at the report but fully accepted the recommendations.

After discussions with the Department for Education, they approached White Woods Primary Academy Trust for immediate support.

Nikki O’Laughlin has been appointed interim headteacher given the “absence” of previous head Rachel Colquhoun, governors told parents in a letter.

They added: “We are committed to ensuring the children of Bramley Grange receive the quality of education they deserve. Whilst we recognise we face a period of significant change, we are excited and optimistic about starting a new chapter.”

Open meetings were held with parents on Monday to discuss the changes but the school did not respond to the Advertiser’s request for further comment.

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