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Primary school desperate to keep parents onside

 Published on: 15th April 2019   |   By: News Bulletin   |   Category: Uncategorized

Governors at a Radlett Primary School are desperately trying to regain parental faith as they suffered a shocking Ofsted report. 

Hertsmere Jewish Primary School’s (HJPS) standards have slipped as its latest Ofsted report labelled it ‘Inadequate’ in late January – a far cry from its previous ‘outstanding’ rating.

In the report, Ofsted said the school was “failing to maintain a positive culture of safeguarding,” meaning parents aren’t comfortable telling the school about difficulties their children are having, therefore leaving staff in the dark regarding all their pupil’s safety.

The report elaborates: “Safeguarding is not effective. Over time, leaders and governors have allowed the professional boundaries between staff, governors and other members of the community to blur. Matters which should have remained confidential have been shared too openly.” 

“Too many members of the community lack trust in the school and are not confident to raise concerns with staff and leaders. This means that leaders cannot know whether they have the information required to make judgements about the best ways to support vulnerable pupils and their families.”

HJPS chairman of governors, Iain Blakeley, wrote to parents last month to reassure parents that the school is proactively trying to improve its standards.

In the letter, Mr Blakeley said the school had always been proud of being “at the heart of a close-knit community — something which brings with it great advantages for our pupils,” but also admitted that “appropriate boundaries have not been maintained.”

He added the impact of new “no nonsense” headteacher Rita Alak-Levi would have a positive effect alongside independent governors.

All other aspects of the school were rated ‘Good’ and it was clear that staff’s teaching qualities were of a high standard.

Ofsted outlined the following as urgent requirements for the school: “creating an open culture in which all members of the community have confidence that their concerns will be listened to and managed professionally.

“Ensuring that staff at all levels, and governors, always maintain professionalboundaries and appropriate confidentiality

“Making sure that records, including about behaviour, are kept in line with bestpractice to ensure that they serve the purpose of keeping pupils safe.

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