A BLACKBIRD Leys primary school has been put into special measures.

Orchard Meadow Primary School, in Wesley Close, was placed into special measures last week following an inspection in June.

The school, which has just under 300 pupils, was criticised for “consistently low” attainment and inadequate teaching and achievement, and a failure to raise achievement.

But headteacher Chris Price last night promised parents would see improved results.

Last year only 43 per cent of children achieved the expected Level Four in English and maths. The floor target is 60 per cent.

But Mrs Price said: “The governors accept the key findings in the report. The school has already begun to address the need for improvement and the Ofsted team recognised that.

“Shortly after the inspection the school received its Key Stage Two SATs results for 2012.

"We are delighted to say there has been improvement in the number of children reaching Level Four in all three areas of reading, writing and mathematics. The Government’s targets were not only met this year, but in fact exceeded.”

The results are currently being validated and will be published alongside all county schools in December.

Mrs Price said: “As a school we are continuing to secure these improvements and raise standards further.”

She said weaknesses were already being addressed through efforts to improve attendance and investing in continuing professional development for all staff, including peer coaching.

Ofsted inspector Susan Williams said: “Attainment has been consistently low over a number of years.”

But she said while governors and school leaders had been unsuccessful in raising achievement, the headteacher had identified key weaknesses and made plans to address them.

The school received a satisfactory rating for behaviour and safety of pupils and Ms Williams said exclusions had been reduced and attendance had improved.


Mrs Price added: “Parents already recognise the changes in practice, and comments so far have been supportive.”

Children start at the school with skill levels well below those expected for their age, and the proportion of disabled pupils and those with special educational needs is above average.

The proportion of pupils eligible for free school meals – a key indicator of deprivation – is well above the national average.

Melinda Tilley, education cabinet member for Oxfordshire County Council , said: “It wasn’t a surprise but I also have a great admiration for the headteacher. I think if she’s given time, she will do some really good work in that school.”

She said she had seen the unvalidated Key Stage Two results and added: “Any increase at Key Stage Two is the result of the early years work we did some years ago and it’s filtered through now.

“It does really show, if you do a lot of work at the beginning, it filters through eventually.”



OXFORDSHIRE schools currently in special measures:

  • Berinsfield Primary
  • Cumnor Primary
  • Cutteslowe Primary
  • Eynsham Primary
  • The Grange Primary, Banbury
  • Middle Barton Primary
  • Orchard Meadow Primary, Blackbird Leys
  • St Nicholas Primary, East Challow

SCHOOLS issued with a notice to improve

  • Millbrook Primary, Grove
  • Orchard Fields Primary, Banbury
  • Stonesfield Primary