Ofsted rates Byron Court Primary School ‘inadequate’

Racist language is normal and sexual harassment is not thoroughly dealt with at Byron Court Primary School in North Wembley, according to inspectors who visited on November 28 and 29 last year.

The education watchdog slammed the school with its lowest ‘inadequate’ Ofsted rating in its report – tumbling from an ‘outstanding’ rating in 2012.

The Spencer Road school was exempt from routine inspection until November 2020 after its success more than a decade ago.

But when they returned last year, inspectors found significant changes in leadership left the school with “insufficient capacity to run effectively”.

Harrow Times: Ofsted found the school to be 'inadequate'Ofsted found the school to be ‘inadequate’ (Image: PA)

The report states that leadership is “overwhelmed” and “too much responsibility is held by too few people”.

Inspectors wrote: “Responses to bullying incidents are also inconsistent and, as a result, some pupils are worried about it. Other serious cases of misbehaviour, including racist language and sexual harassment, are not thoroughly dealt with or followed up.”

The report also said: “Pupils throughout the school use racist language casually, as part of their day-to-day conversations. Incidents of homophobic behaviour are not adequately addressed.”

In some lessons, pupils disrupted their own and others’ learning and breaktimes were described as “chaotic”, while the school’s response to serious misbehaviour is “inconsistent and ineffective”.

Ofsted pinned these issues to the school lacking “the necessary leadership capacity to improve”.

The school was told: “Turbulence in leadership has not been managed well. This has led to a sharp decline in standards in all aspects of school life. The interim leadership team is trying to make things better for pupils and reverse this deterioration.

“However, it has become overloaded by the scale and amount of work needed, leaving it with too little time and capacity to focus on bringing about the necessary improvements.”

Despite behavioural concerns, the curriculum was described as broad and planned with ambition, although Ofsted school the plan has not been implemented well – particularly for children with special educational needs and /or disabilities (SEND).

SEND pupils received “too little attention” and staff lacked clear guidance on how to support said students.

The national assessment outcome for other students also demonstrated the “neglect” the curriculum has had over recent years.

No problems were noted regarding the school’s safeguarding arrangements.

Ofsted said: “Staff are supportive of the interim leadership arrangements and are keen to work with leaders at all levels to bring about improvements. They were especially positive about the support they are offered with their well-being.”

Brent Council has been approached for comment.

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