Edward Peake middle school in Biggleswade 'requires improvement' say Ofsted inspectors

Personal development and pupils’ behaviour was good – but the quality of education and leadership ‘requires improvement’

By Jo Robinson
Friday, 22nd July 2022, 11:18 am

Biggleswade's Edward Peake CofE (VC) Middle School has been rated as 'Requires Improvement' in its latest Ofsted report.

The school received mixed results from inspectors, with 'The Quality of Education' and 'Leadership and Management' judged as Requires Improvement, while 'Personal Development' and 'Behaviour and Attitudes' were both ranked as Good.

However, the positives were not enough to boost the school's overall rating, with the results a step down from its short inspection in 2016 (Good) and full inspection in 2013 (Good).

Edward Peake CofE (VC) Middle School. Image: Google.

The report states: "Pupils are enthusiastic about their subjects. They like learning and they enjoy reading.

"However, some pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) do not receive the precise support they need to learn well.

"Most pupils behave very well. They are respectful to each other and to adults. At times, a small number of pupils do not make the best behaviour choices. Teachers kindly help pupils to behave better.

"Most pupils consider that bullying is rare."

The report notes that leaders have designed an "ambitious curriculum" that helps most pupils to "embrace a diverse, wider world", with learning broken down into "manageable chunks".

However, inspectors found that a minority of teachers "do not have the subject knowledge" to ensure that pupils learn as much as they could.

"They [leaders] are supporting teachers so that they understand better what knowledge to teach and how to teach it," the report states.

Praising them further, it adds: "Leaders have established a powerful caring ethos. The school’s motto of ‘live, love and learn’ resonates throughout school life."

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To improve, the report advises that the needs of some pupils with SEND need to be clearly identified and communicated well enough with staff.

At present, it warns: "Pupils with SEND do not receive the precise support they need to help them to access the curriculum."

It added: "Governors’ quality assurance of school life is inconsistent. They have not held leaders fully to account about how well the school is meeting the needs for pupils with SEND."

The report also states that leaders have not communicated well enough with parents, and that as a result, "parents hold mixed views about the school".

Headteacher, Miss Linington, told the Chronicle: "The school’s commitment to prioritising the personal development and welfare of our pupils was recognised as a real strength of our school. I was also pleased that inspectors recognised the good behaviour of the vast majority of our young people and the efforts from the staff that go into ensuring that this is the case.

"The lead inspector commented: 'Lessons are ordered and calm. It’s a positive environment. It’s delightful and at times, it’s spiritually uplifting'.

"Inspectors also commented on the high quality of the curriculum and the excellent work undertaken by our subject leaders to develop this.

"Of course, there are areas for improvement and we received some recommendations on improving our provision for pupils with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities.

"We will be working closely with Central Bedfordshire Council in order to secure this improvement."