‘The proprietor does not have an accurate understanding of the quality of education at the school’
A Saltash school has been deemed inadequate by Ofsted following an inspection. The inspection of Fountain Head House School was rated ‘inadequate’ in its quality of education and leadership and management. The report, which follows an inspection in May 2022 also stated the school’s personal development required improvement.
The Independent school situated on Church Road was inspected by the education watchdog between May 17 and 19, 2022, which outlined the key areas the school needs to take action on. In the published Ofsted report, it stated that Fountain Head House School did not meet all the independent school standards.
However Ofsted also praised the school for the ‘warm’ and caring’ relationships with staff and welcoming atmosphere around the school. The behaviours and attitudes and early years provision were both rated as ‘good.’
Fountain Head House School has not been previously inspected by Ofsted due to being a new co-educational independent day school. It provides unique learning experiences for young people between the ages of five and 16. The school’s mission statement is “to provide innovative, personalised and exciting learning opportunities that ensure our students are happy and successful in life.”
The categories judged were; the quality of education, behaviour and attitudes, personal development and leadership and management. There are four main Ofsted categories, the highest being ‘outstanding’, which is grade one. Grade two is ‘good’, grade three is ‘requires improvement’ and grade four, ‘inadequate’.
The Ofsted report stated: “Pupils experience a poorly planned curriculum. Leaders do not check that teachers teach all of the subjects they should. In addition, there is no clear curriculum thinking that links pupils’ learning in each subject across the age range covered by the school.
“Pupils’ personal development is not well considered. Leaders do not check that teachers cover all parts of the personal, social and health education (PSHE) programme, which results in older pupils not getting sufficient careers advice and guidance.
“The proprietor does not have an accurate understanding of the quality of education at the school. It has not ensured that the school meets all the independent school standards.”
The report continued: “There are significant weaknesses in the quality of education. The school’s leadership has failed to implement the curriculum and schemes of work seen at the time of the pre-registration inspection.”
Fountain House Head School was also rated as ‘good’ in two areas of the report. It included the staff who teach the early year groups deliver well-organised learning and effective support given to pupils by staff.
“As a result, children engage enthusiastically in well-planned individual learning programmes. This supports their personal, physical and social development well”, it said.
“Pupils develop warm, caring relationships with staff. The atmosphere around the school is welcoming and friendly. Well-trained staff provide effective support if a pupil becomes unsettled. Despite leaders’ shortcomings in regard to safely recruiting staff, pupils say they feel safe and know staff will listen to their concerns.
“During breaktime and lunchtime, relaxed, happy pupils play well together. There are friendly, respectful relationships between pupils. When a pupil finds it difficult to cope, staff deal with the situation expertly. Staff care for the pupils and support each other. As a result, behaviour is a strength in the school.”
Following the inspection this year, Ofsted has asked the school to take action on the inadequate areas. Under improvements, the report said: “Governance is weak. The proprietor has not ensured that there are adequate systems to check the impact of leaders’ actions. This means that it does not hold leaders to account well enough to secure improvement in the school. The proprietor should ensure that more rigorous procedures are in place to check all aspects of the school’s work.
“Safeguarding arrangements are not effective. Leaders do not have a secure understanding of statutory safeguarding guidance in relation to recruitment of staff. The single central record contains significant gaps.
“As a result, leaders are not sure that all necessary checks have been made before the appointment of new employees. This puts pupils at risk. Leaders must improve their knowledge of statutory guidance and implement this stringently to keep pupils safe at school.
“The curriculum is not well planned and sequenced in all subjects. As a result, it is unclear what pupils need to know in each subject and year group. This means that pupils do not learn content in a logical order. Leaders should ensure that the curriculum is well planned to enable pupils to develop secure knowledge in each subject.”
It adds that the school need to take action to ensure all the independent school standards are being met. You can read the report in full by visiting the Ofsted website.
PlymouthLive contacted the school for comment but did not receive a response.
Source: Plymouth Live