New head for Beer Primary School following critical Ofsted report

PUBLISHED: 17:00 27 January 2020

Beer Primary School. Ref shb 05 20TI 7192. Picture: Terry Ife

Beer Primary School. Ref shb 05 20TI 7192. Picture: Terry Ife


An East Devon primary school whose pupils’ good behaviour ‘masks the weak teaching’ will appoint a full-time headteacher following a critical Ofsted report.

Beer Primary School. Ref shb 05 20TI 7187. Picture: Terry IfeBeer Primary School. Ref shb 05 20TI 7187. Picture: Terry Ife

Beer C of E Primary School says Rebecca Porter will take up the role as soon as possible.

Miss Porter has been dividing her time between Beer and All Saints CE Primary School in Axminster as executive head.

The announcement was made after an Ofsted report judged the school as 'requires improvement' in all areas assessed by the watchdog's lead inspector Kathy Maddocks - the quality of education, behaviour and attitudes, personal development, leadership and management and early years provision.

An Ofsted report published following the inspection, held on January 8 and 9 this year, said teachers' expectations are too low and pupils behave very well - even when teaching is poor.

The report said: "The pupils' good behaviour masks the weak teaching.

"It allows teachers to believe they are engaging pupils when they are not.

"Many pupils' work is scruffy and incomplete.

"Consequently, pupils cannot explain what they have done or remember what they have learned, especially in Key Stage 2."

It has since been confirmed that Miss Porter will become a headteacher once the necessary personnel changes are made at All Saints.

Jo Evans, chief executive of St Christopher's Church of England Multi Academy Trust, to which Beer and All Saints belong, said: "We believe there will be a benefit for each school in returning to having its own dedicated headteacher.

"Miss Porter will become the full-time headteacher at Beer."

Miss Porter said the increased leadership capacity would allow her to intensify the pace of improvements which were already under way at Beer.

She said: "Our own monitoring had identified the same areas that the Ofsted inspectors highlighted and we were already taking steps to make improvements."

Lead Ofsted inspector Kathy Maddocks recognised this in her report and said: "Most of the significant changes took place from September. There has not been enough time to see major benefits yet.

"However, the Trust leaders know the strengths and weaknesses of the school and they are doing the right things."

The inspector said they had not had enough time to make an impact and the school therefore had to be judged as requiring improvement.

She found that pupils were happy and safe in school and parents appreciated the friendly atmosphere.

"Some parents have specifically chosen to bring their children to the school because of the care and nurture provided," she said.

Miss Porter said she was pleased the Ofsted inspectors recognised this aspect of the school's work and echoed the recent Church of England report which classed Beer as excellent.

But she said the school staff would be re-doubling their efforts to provide the highest possible standard of education.

She said: "We want to return to being recognised as the best school for children locally."

This would involve working with an external school improvement partner from St Christopher's Trust and accessing professional development for all staff.

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