School must do better say inspectors

Port Erroll School
Port Erroll School

A North-east primary school has been told it has made “insufficient progress” since an inspection back in 2016.

Inspectors from Education Scotland have informed parents of pupils at Port Erroll School in Cruden Bay that they will now be working with Aberdeenshire Council regarding the school’s “capacity to improve”.

More than two years ago, inspectors set out a number of areas for improvement which were agreed with the school and the local authority before returning for a follow-up inspection in late 2017.

More recently, the team returned, talking to children and working closely with the headteacher and staff.

Children in the nursery and school were found to be becoming more involved in talking about their learning, but inspectors feel that teachers need to develop “clearer and more consistent ways” in which they are measuring and recording the progress children are making in their learning.

Another key area for development was in the meeting of the needs of individual learners and working in collaboration with children, parents and partners to identify next steps in learning.

But in terms of the development of robust systems of self-evaluation that lead to well-paced change, consistently high-quality learners’ experiences and improved outcomes for learners, the school has more to do.

There needs to be a clear and agreed approach to monitoring and tracking children’s progress in learning across the school and nursery class.”

Inspectors said:“Overall, the school needs to be in a position where it can demonstrate that all children consistently experience high-quality teaching and are making the best possible progress in their learning.”

An Aberdeenshire Council spokesperson said: “We are pleased that the inspectors have recognised the efforts the head teacher and senior leadership team are making to consult with children, staff and parents on reviewing the school’s values, aims and vision. It is also satisfying that they have taken into account the improvements in the health and wellbeing of all pupils.

“Furthermore, it is encouraging that inspectors have acknowledged that children in the nursery and the school are becoming more involved in talking about their learning.

“That said, we recognise that progress needs to be made across a variety of areas and that we will be working with the school on their improvement journey. The school has already begun to work on key areas of development arising from the inspection.”