The County You Live, Work And Play
Inspectors Slam Primary School
A damning report on the education standards in a Salsburgh school has been labelled “deeply disappointing and unacceptable” by North Lanarkshire’s head of education.
Inspectors recently visited Kirk O’Shotts Primary and found that in 10 of the 12 evaluated categories the school was deemed “unsatisfactory” – the lowest possible grade – meaning there are “major areas for further development”.
The remaining two categories were considered “weak”, with “some important areas for further development”.
Unsatisfactory evaluations were concluded in both the school and nursery’s curriculum, capacity to meet learning needs and improvement through evaluation.
The quality of staffing, management and leadership, and care and support in the nursery were all also deemed unsatisfactory.
HM Inspector Guch Dhillon said: “In the nursery, progress in learning is unsatisfactory overall. Children’s skills in early literacy and numeracy are not well enough developed.
“Across the school, children’s progress in numeracy and mathematics is too variable with clear gaps in their knowledge, skills and understanding.
“The school does not yet have an accurate overview of primary-aged children’s progress over time. The school with the support from the local authority needs to address this as a matter of priority to improve children’s attainment.”
The report also noted the need to improve the curriculum across the entire school and stated that both the school’s head teacher, who only came to the school last August, and other members of staff could do more to raise standards.
Dhillon continued: “We have asked the school to improve the ways it supports children with additional needs to ensure they make appropriate progress. The head teacher and staff need to strengthen partnerships with parents and carers by involving them more in their children’s learning. There is an identified need to improve the quality of the curriculum at all stages across the school and nursery class. Staff are not making effective use of Curriculum for Excellence guidance to support children in their learning.
“As a priority they need to increase their knowledge and understanding of what is expected at national standards to ensure all children make appropriate progress in all areas of the curriculum. In addition, they do not have a consistent and shared understanding of what they are trying to achieve for children through the curriculum.”
Isabelle Boyd, head of education standards and inclusion with NLC, described the report as “deeply disappointing and unacceptable”.
She added: “Clearly no school should have reached this point. However, we are 100 per cent focused on improving educational standards and this process is already well underway.
“In recent months there have been several changes in personnel at the school and we have provided staff with extra support and additional resources.”
Following a meeting between Ms Boyd, Fortissat councillors and the school’s parent council, all said they were “fully supportive of the school and the action plan which was now well underway”.