Skerne Park Academy

Name Skerne Park Academy
Ofsted Inspection Rating Requires improvement
Inspection Date 01 May 2018
Address Coleridge Gardens, Darlington, County Durham, DL1 5AJ
Phone Number 01325380831
Type Primary
Age Range 3-11
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 396 (48% boys 52% girls)
Number of Pupils per Teacher 20.1
Academy Sponsor Hummersknott Academy Trust
Local Authority Darlington
Percentage Free School Meals 44.4%
Percentage English is Not First Language 10.4%
Persisitent Absence 9.9%
Pupils with SEN Support 28%
Catchment Area Information Available Yes, our catchment area data is FREE
Last Distance Offered Information Available No

Information about this school

The school is larger than the average-sized primary school. It is part of the Hummersknott Academy Trust. It is supported by an executive headteacher. The vast majority of pupils are of White British heritage. The proportion of pupils who have SEN and/or disabilities is above the national average. An increasing proportion of pupils have an education, health and care plan, which is also well above the national average. The school serves an area of high deprivation and the proportion of pupils who are disadvantaged is well above the national average. The school meets the government’s current floor standards for primary schools.

Summary of key findings for parents and pupils

This is a school that requires improvement Teaching across the school is too variable. Teachers are not consistent in ensuring that the activities they plan meet the needs of all pupils, particularly the most able and middle-ability pupils. Pupils’ outcomes across the school are variable, as is the quality of work seen in pupils’ books. Pupils are not studying at a sufficient depth to be able to achieve consistently at both the expected and higher standards. Leaders, including governors, are united in their desire to improve pupils’ outcomes. However, the implementation of the school curriculum has not been precise enough to bring about rapid improvement. As a result, some of the areas identified as in need of improvement at the previous inspection remain. Leaders have been overgenerous in their view of the quality of teaching. They have focused too heavily upon teachers’ compliancy with school policy, rather than focusing on the impact of teaching on pupils’ learning. Leaders’ action-planning identifies the right priorities for improvement, but the actions they take are not linked sharply enough to the gains in pupils’ achievement they desire. This makes it difficult for leaders to evaluate their work accurately. Governors are proud to represent their school and are keen for all pupils to be successful. While they have ensured that performance management processes are firmly in place, they have not ensured that the targets they set are sufficiently rigorous to hold school leaders to account effectively. The school has the following strengths Pupils of lower ability and those who have special educational needs (SEN) and/or disabilities make strong progress from their varying starting points. Leaders promote pupils’ pastoral care successfully. They ensure that pupils’ well-being and emotional needs are prioritised. This forms the bedrock of pupils’ good spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. Children in the early years get off to a good start in all areas of their learning. This is because activities are carefully planned to meet the needs and interests of young children. Pupils say that they feel safe and that there is a trusted adult in whom they can confide, should they feel the need to do so.