Byron Court Primary School

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About Byron Court Primary School

Name Byron Court Primary School
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Mr Martyn Boxall
Address Spencer Road, Wembley, HA0 3SF
Phone Number 02089042785
Phase Primary
Type Community school
Age Range 4-11
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 841
Local Authority Brent
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Since the previous inspection, significant changes in leadership have left the school with insufficient capacity to run effectively. Leadership is overwhelmed. Too much responsibility is held by too few people.

This has led to a marked deterioration in all aspects of the school's work. Areas that need urgent improvement, including the school's work to promote good behaviour, have been left unaddressed for too long. As a result, pupils are not receiving an acceptable standard of education.

While the curriculum offered is broad and planned with ambition, the school has not made sure that it is implemented well. This is especially the case for pupils with special educati...onal needs and/or disabilities (SEND). These pupils' learning is given too little attention.

The structures in place to identify pupils with SEND and to support their learning are weak. Often, their needs are not identified and met. This leads to pupils with SEND not making progress through the curriculum.

The school has not done enough to ensure that pupils behave well. Behaviour policies are poorly understood and inconsistently applied. This means that pupils' behaviour and attitudes have significantly declined over time.

In some lessons, pupils disrupt their own learning and that of others. Breaktimes are chaotic, even when they are being managed by many members of staff. The school's response to serious behaviour incidents is often inconsistent and ineffective.

Some pupils, and some parents and carers, have concerns about bullying or behaviour. They feel that when these occur, things are not dealt with well and, consequently, continue.

The school offers many enrichment activities, such as karate and cooking.

These are planned successfully to help to broaden pupils' wider experiences. However, the planning and delivery of personal, social and health education (PSHE) are not as successful at helping pupils to develop into respectful and well-rounded citizens. The use of racist language has been normalised, and too few steps are being taken to address this.

Interim leadership has prioritised ensuring that pupils are kept safe. This work has been effective. Suitable arrangements are in place to identify and help those pupils who may be vulnerable to harm.

What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?

The school lacks the necessary leadership capacity to improve. Turbulence in leadership has not been managed well. This has led to a sharp decline in standards in all aspects of school life.

The interim leadership team is trying to make things better for pupils and reverse this deterioration. However, it has become overloaded by the scale and amount of work needed, leaving it with too little time and capacity to focus on bringing about the necessary improvements.

The governing body recognises the need to secure further leadership capacity and stabilise the school.

For example, it has recently tried to boost leadership capacity by securing the help of external consultants. It is also in the process of seconding experienced leadership from another school. Despite this, too much is expected of the current arrangements for interim leadership.

Significant issues in school remain either unidentified or unaddressed. They are not being tackled with sufficient urgency and rigour. As a result, pupils, particularly those with SEND, are not receiving a good-enough education.

Some parents have lost confidence in the school, and in the provision and expectations for their children.

The school has a written behaviour policy. However, the lack of leadership capacity has meant that this policy is often not understood or followed.

This leaves pupils unsure of what is expected of them. Incidents of poor behaviour are not addressed consistently. Actions taken in response to similar behaviour issues vary widely.

Responses to bullying incidents are also inconsistent and, as a result, some pupils are worried about it. Other serious cases of misbehaviour, including racist language and sexual harassment, are not thoroughly dealt with or followed up.

The school has put in place a PSHE curriculum which covers topics such as first aid and online safety.

However, the school has not checked how well the curriculum is working in practice. Teachers have not received sufficient guidance on how to teach subject content and make the curriculum meaningful and relevant to the school's context. As a result, the curriculum is not effective in supporting the school's aim to promote pupils' wider development.

For example, the school is not doing enough to ensure that pupils celebrate equality and diversity, and show respect for each other. Pupils throughout the school use racist language casually, as part of their day-to-day conversations. Incidents of homophobic behaviour are not adequately addressed.

Pupils like being able to take part in the range of clubs on offer as well as valuable enrichment activities, such as educational outings. The school is also working on further developing the opportunities for pupil leadership, where pupils take on roles such as global champions and digital ambassadors.

From early years to Year 6, the school does not consistently support pupils with SEND to know and remember more.

Approaches to identifying and meeting pupils' needs are inconsistent, and often weak. This means that some pupils who need additional support and adaptations do not receive them. Staff lack clear and sufficient guidance on how to support pupils with SEND.

In some cases, pupils with the most complex needs are supported by the staff with the least expertise. This means that their needs remain unmet, and they are not learning well.

The school has taken a number of steps to address curriculum deficiencies.

For example, new curriculum planning has been put in place for many subjects from early years to Year 6. However, reduced leadership capacity has severely hampered the school's work to make sure that teachers fully receive the support they need to implement the curriculum well. Therefore, pupils have a varied experience of learning and are often not able to build on previous knowledge.

Pupils' outcomes in national assessments demonstrate the neglect that the curriculum has had over recent years.

Leaders prioritise reading from the beginning of Reception. The school launched a new phonics scheme last academic year.

Staff received training and have ongoing access to guidance materials to help them to further refine their teaching. Overall, the recent improvements made to early reading mean that pupils are supported to build their reading fluency over time. Any gaps in pupils' knowledge are identified through regular assessments, with extra support put in place to address the things that pupils are struggling with.

Nevertheless, some aspects of the school's approach to early reading are not as effective as they need to be. While most pupils' reading books match their stage of phonics learning, they also take home books to practise with that are not decodable. This can confuse pupils.

In addition, in some instances, staff's subject knowledge in how to teach phonics is not secure, and this affects how well they support pupils' development as readers.

Staff are supportive of the interim leadership arrangements and are keen to work with leaders at all levels to bring about improvements. They were especially positive about the support they are offered with their well-being.

The school works successfully with parents to improve pupils' attendance.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• Some pupils with SEND are not identified or supported promptly or effectively.

This means that they do not learn and remember the intended curriculum. The school should increase its capacity to identify and plan effective provision for these pupils. All staff should receive further training so that they have the expertise needed to understand and meet pupils' needs, including making appropriate adaptations to help pupils to learn well.

• There is insufficient leadership capacity to fully identify and implement the changes which are needed to improve pupils' education and wider experiences of school life. This includes making sure that the curriculum in all subjects is taught well and enables pupils to achieve successfully. This means that pupils are not currently receiving an acceptable education.

The school should prioritise making sure that suitable leadership arrangements are in place, so that the areas in need of improvement can be identified and addressed urgently and that these improvements can be maintained over time. ? The school does not have clearly defined and understood behaviour policies that are applied consistently. This means that behaviour causes disruption to learning in lessons.

Pupils regularly use discriminatory language, and bullying is not dealt with effectively. The school must review its policies and practices. It should ensure that staff understand and apply agreed approaches to securing good behaviour, including using rewards and consequences, consistently and fairly.

Staff should receive suitable training and guidance, so that they can put the revised policies and procedures into practice. ? Pupils are not currently receiving a consistent and carefully planned PSHE curriculum. This has led to many instances where pupils do not celebrate equality and diversity.

For instance, many pupils use racist language freely. The school should evaluate the current PSHE curriculum and put in place a curriculum that fully supports pupils' development. Staff will need thorough training to deliver the new curriculum, and the school should monitor the success of this.

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