Quality of education 'not good enough' at Mansfield Woodhouse school

A school in Mansfield Woodhouse has been told by watchdog inspectors that its quality of education ‘is not good enough’ and must improve.

By Richard Silverwood
Thursday, 13th January 2022, 5:16 pm
The Bramble Academy in Mansfield Woodhouse, which has been told by the education watchdog, Ofsted, that it must improve.
The Bramble Academy in Mansfield Woodhouse, which has been told by the education watchdog, Ofsted, that it must improve.

The Bramble Academy, a primary school on Oxclose Lane, which has a capacity for 210 pupils, has been given a ‘Requires Improvement’ rating by Ofsted – the same as its previous, and first, inspection in 2017.

In only one category did the school rise above this rating – that of behaviour and attitudes, which were labelled ‘Good’.

Inspectors accepted there was a ‘calm and orderly environment’ at Bramble, and ‘any bullying was dealt with quickly and effectively’.

Ofsted inspectors made a number of criticisms of The Bramble Academy, which is run by The Evolve Trust.

The Ofsted report also noted that the new head teacher, Natalie Aveyard, was ‘starting to bring about improvement’ at the school.

However, there was much to do, with inspectors saying: “In some subjects, including reading, the curriculum is not taught well enough from the early years, which means that pupils do not gain the knowledge and skills they should over time.

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"There is inconsistency in how leaders and teachers plan and deliver learning across the different subjects.”

The Ofsted report criticised the school for failing to provide extra support for youngsters who struggle to read.

And pupils with special educational needs did ‘not always benefit from a good quality education’, with the curriculum not adapted well enough for them.

"Some pupils’ understanding of different faiths and British values is also not good enough,” the report went on. “As a result, they are not as well prepared for life in modern Britain as they should be.”

On the positive side, Ofsted said youngsters knew how to eat healthily and maintain an active lifestyle, attendance was good and safeguarding was effective. But while most parents praised the school, some had concerns about staff turnover.

Bramble is part of The Evolve Trust, which also runs The Brunts Academy and The Beech Academy in Mansfield.

Evolve took over the school in January, 2015 when it was converted into an academy. Under its previous guise as Robin Hood Primary, it was branded ‘Inadequate’ by Ofsted and placed into Special Measures.

The inspectors’ message for Evolve this time round was: “Support for the school’s leaders from the multi-academy trust has not brought about sufficient improvement since the previous inspection in 2017. Trustees do not hold leaders to account well enough, including over the quality of education.”

Evolve responded with this statement from Carl Atkin, who is the director of school improvement at the trust and also the principal at The Brunts Academy:

"We are very disappointed by the findings of the latest Ofsted report, but are, of course, taking them extremely seriously.

“The school has already embarked upon a robust action plan to address the areas of improvement required by the inspectors.

"These include the introduction of a new reading programme and extensive teacher-training.

"We will also continue our well-known range of exciting trips and extra-curricular activities that take learning well beyond the classroom.

“We will continue to do our best to provide all of our pupils with the quality education and opportunities they deserve.”

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