CONCERNED parents packed an emergency meeting to hear how a Chester primary school has been failing their children.
Upton Heath Primary in Upton Lane has been placed in special measures after a damning Ofsted report severely criticised leadership and teaching standards.
More than 20 areas of the school were graded inadequate, leading Cheshire West and Chester Council to help draw up an action plan aimed at turning things around within two years.
Comments made by the Ofsted inspectors included:
The school is “failing to give its pupils an acceptable standard of education”.
The overall effectiveness of the school is now inadequate.
The school does not meet minimum requirements on safeguarding.
Low expectations have become the norm.
Deficiencies stem from inadequate leadership and management and ineffective teaching.
In September, at the start of the new school year, Paula Moreton was brought in as acting headteacher while full-time head Claire Lyons – who took over Upton Heath in 2007 - is on extended sick leave.
On Tuesday, parents at the 403-pupil primary heard Ann Moore, assistant director of children and young people’s services at Cheshire West and Chester Council, outline what would be done to transform Upton Heath into an “outstanding” school.
An action plan is already in the process of being implemented and the Secretary of State has been asked to give approval to the appointment of an Interim Executive Board to steer the school out of special measures.
Members of the board will include senior officers from CWaC, a local councillor and diocesan advisor.
Mrs Moore said: “Many things have happened and it is no longer working for the children who are here now.
“We will be giving staff support, guidance and training to change the way they are teaching so standards become good or outstanding.”
She added there would be some extra funding made available and that one additional full time member of staff would be appointed.
And Mrs Moore stressed: “This school will not come out of special measures if parents do not feel they are being communicated with.”
A number of parents expressed concern that the local authority could not reassure them with regard to the long-term involvement of Mrs Moreton.
But the acting head concluded the meeting by telling them: “I will be here as long as this school needs me.”