SELSDON Primary School 'requires improvement', an Ofsted report published today as found. The school, in Addington Road, is criticised in the report for weak leadership and failure to support low achieving pupils. Selsdon Primary was also told its writing and mathematics progress has been historically weak, teachers often had low expectations of their pupils and left behind those working at lower levels. The school's governing body was also criticised for failing to give enough support to new teachers or responding to parent concerns, although it was said to have improved from the last inspection. The report comes just days after St Mark's Primary in South Norwood was put into 'special measures' for bad management. This year in Croydon, Winterbourne Junior Boys School and Wolsey Junior School have also been judged as inadequate and requiring 'special measures'. Selsdon Primary's head, Nicolas Wollaston, said that although English and Maths were important, "personal development is also key for children.". "We are very pleased that Ofsted recognises that the school provides good opportunities for pupils' spiritual, moral, social and cultural development," he said. Mr Wollaston also told parents: "There is good support for pupils who have behavioural and emotional difficulties. "Pupils say that bullying incidents are rare but that when they do occur, they are confident that adults manage them well. "The school promotes equality of opportunities well and takes steps to ensure that there are good relationships between pupils who have different ethnic heritages." However, he also stressed that the school "could improve" and promised to focus on the quality of teaching, allowing teachers to share the best practices and to respond to parent concerns. Ofsted acknowledged the that school was "much larger than average-sized" and that around one third of the pupils are eligible for pupil premium funding - a much higher proportion than the national average. Nearly a quarter of pupils also join or leave the school part way though their education and there are a number of children who attend the local pupil referral unit. The head responded to these factors, saying: "Since the last inspection, inspectors say that pupils' good behaviour has been maintained, that achievement, teaching and attendance have improved, despite increasingly unfavourable contextual factors, and that these demonstrate the school's capacity for further improvement. "The school has been judged as Grade 3. This grade used to be 'Satisfactory' but has been renamed by Ofsted as 'Requires Improvement'. Around 30% of schools are currently judged to be Grade 3." The school will receive another Ofsted inspection within 24 months. Last August the Advertiser revealed the school had paid £1,300 for Mr Wollaston and his senior leadership team to stay overnight at a four-star hotel five miles away. Auditors branded the 'management training' at Coulsdon Manor & Golf Club "inappropriate".
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