Last updated: Sun 31 May 2015

Nunney First School ‘inadequate’

Nunney First School and Somerset County Council are implementing an action plan to address areas for improvement identified by a recent Ofsted report.

Nunney First School

An Ofsted inspection was carried out in April 2015. The summary report identified academic and teaching standards as being inadequate and placed the school in special measures.

Here is the full summary of the most recent Ofsted report:

  • Pupils’ achievement is inadequate. They do not make enough progress, especially in basic literacy and mathematical skills, as they move through the school.
  • Over time, too much weak teaching has resulted in pupils not making enough progress. Consequently, pupils, including some of the most able, do not achieve the standards of which they are capable.
  • Teaching is inadequate. Teachers, especially temporary supply teachers, when used in both classes, do not establish a secure grasp of what pupils already know and understand. As a result, they do not plan effectively for what pupils need to learn next.
  • Often, the work set for the pupils in all parts of the school is either too easy or too hard or fails to stimulate pupils’ interest. As a result, past underachievement is not rectified quickly enough.
  • Pupils’ behaviour requires improvement. Some pupils do not sustain concentration and are over-reliant on adult help to complete their work.
  • The early years provision is inadequate. Children are not offered the good quality of teaching and stimulating experiences they need to achieve well.
  • Leadership and management are inadequate. There are weaknesses at all levels of leadership, especially in checking the quality of teaching and its impact on pupils’ progress.
  • Leaders, including governors, have not taken the decisive action needed to bring about lasting improvements in leadership, teaching and pupils’ achievement since the previous inspection.
  • The leaders and managers of the school do not demonstrate the capacity to improve.
  • Teaching assistants are not always used effectively to support pupils’ learning.
  • The primary criticism of the report focuses on the academic and teaching standards at the school which have been identified as inadequate.

The report notes that the school has a number of strenghts:

  • Arrangements to ensure pupils are kept safe are good. As a result, pupils feel secure.
  • The school is a welcoming community where learning in the expressive arts and through outdoor pursuits strongly promotes the pupils’ social, moral, spiritual and cultural development.
  • Parents and their children appreciate the caring relationships provided by the adults who work at the school.
  • Disabled pupils and those with special educational needs are well supported. Pupils with very complex needs are looked after extremely well. As a result, they make better progress than others.

Action plan

Nunney First School logoTo address areas highlighted as being of concern, Somerset County Council and the school have put together an action plan that will see standards monitored and improved.

Key points of the action plan include:

  • School leaders and staff taking significant steps to raise the standards of teaching and learning so that each pupil is able to achieve full potential.
  • Continuing a strong commitment to the good standard of pastoral care that was recognised by the Inspector in his report.
  • Encouraging a commitment throughout the school to raise standards in every aspect of school life.
  • Governors and staff working closely with the Local Authority to address key issues.


Mrs Hilary Allom, Chair of Governors, said: “We accept the findings of our recent Ofsted inspection and are already working very hard to address our areas for improvement.”

“We are pleased that the Inspector noted the strengths that we have at school, but are completely committed to putting in place the changes that are needed to bring Nunney First School back to its traditional place as a school at the heart of the local and wider community providing the highest standards of teaching that enable the pupils to realise their full potential.”

Linda Howlett, Nunney First School

Linda Howlett

“We are delighted with the support we are receiving from Somerset County Council, particularly since our Head Teacher, Mrs Linda Howlett was taken ill on 13 May.”

“Two Somerset Head Teachers are working with our existing and newly recruited teaching and support staff to implement the changes that are needed to raise standards throughout the school. We will continue to work together as a team to ensure that we keep developing the school.”

“I would like to add my thanks to all the parents who have been so supportive of the school during difficult times, and I repeat the promise I made to them that we, the governors and staff, will continue to strive to give their children the best possible start in life.”

The full Ofsted report for Nunney First School is available at

Read Visit Nunney’s interview with Head Teacher Linda Howlett, published earlier this year, here/.

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