SCHOOLS responsible for teaching hundreds of pupils have been rated 'inadequate' by Ofsted.

Botley Primary School near Oxford and Charlbury Primary School in West Oxfordshire have met the regulator's lowest standard, in separate reports released in May.

Quality of teaching, learning and assessment at both schools were rated 'good,' as were outcomes for pupils, but categories of leadership and management, early years provision and personal development, behaviour and welfare were all judged to be 'inadequate.'

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The report for Botley Primary, which teaches 438 pupils, said: "Leaders and governors have failed to ensure that all safeguarding policies, practices and procedures are consistently followed and effective.

"As a result, the school has not ensured the safety of pupils who may be at risk from harm."

Inspectors described safeguarding records as 'disorganised' and said some concerns had not been passed on to relevant external agencies.

Ofsted said the school's curriculum was 'stimulating,' however, and pupils, who speak 50 languages between them, were 'polite, courteous and respectful.'

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The school had been rated 'requires improvement' in 2016, and the new report said staff have worked 'tirelessly' to ensure quality of teaching has improved since then.

It added: "Staff morale is high and there is a strong culture of ongoing improvement in the school.

"Leaders have created an exciting curriculum, which has motivated and inspired pupils to want to learn.

"Classrooms ‘buzz’ with pupils eager to learn and try their best."

The inspection took place in February and Ben Potter, chair of governors at Botley, said new processes for safeguarding had already been implemented since.

He said: "We have taken the concerns raised seriously and acted rapidly to ensure that no pupils will be at risk at Botley School.

"Despite the seriousness of the issues raised, we are proud of many parts of the Ofsted report.

"The report recognises that children at Botley make good progress, and the quality of teaching has improved since the last inspection."

Schools rated inadequate are placed in one of two categories - requiring special measures, or requiring significant improvement.

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Both Botley and 194-pupil Charlbury landed in the latter, which is the less serious of the two.

All maintained schools rated 'inadequate' are now required to convert into academies, which means they will no longer by run by Oxfordshire County Council and will instead have to join a multi-academy trust. 

Charlbury had been rated 'good' in 2015 but Ofsted found standards had slipped during the latest inspection in March.

Witney Gazette:

Charlbury Primary School

The new report said 'confusion prevails' regarding staff's safeguarding responsibilities, and that record-keeping is 'not sharp enough.

It added: "Leaders and governors have not ensured that pupils are kept safe - they have not made sure that safeguarding concerns are recorded in a systematic way.

"Concerns are not followed up or referred on to the appropriate agencies, when needed. As a result, leaders have potentially placed pupils at significant risk."

However, there were many positives and inspectors noted that there was a 'tangible buzz of excitement in classrooms.'

The report added: "There is a planned programme of visits, visitors and residential trips to enrich and stimulate pupils’ thinking and develop their wider interests and talents.

"Pupils are confident and take an active role in the life of the school, and relish the opportunities to take on responsibilities."

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A statement released by Charlbury Primary School said: "We are delighted that Ofsted judged teaching, learning, and outcomes for pupils to be good, but we were disappointed to receive the inadequate ratings, and concluded that we must swiftly and thoroughly address the issues raised and concentrate on moving forward.

"We completed an update of safeguarding training and processes to ensure no child is at risk and reassured parents that no child has been harmed in school.

"We are investigating behaviour-related issues, listening to parents, staff and pupils with an aim of improving the school’s response to incidents and developing an ethos of kindness and empathy.

"Governors are working on several new incentives to develop their effectiveness. We will continue to strengthen the very good teaching, rich learning environment and high attainment at Charlbury Primary."