Ofsted downgrades Menorah primary

By Simon Rocker, September 30, 2013
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Governors of the Menorah Foundation Primary in Edgware say they have already begun to tackle problems identified by Ofsted inspectors, who lowered its ranking from “good” to “requires improvement”.

The state-aided school has dropped to the third of the four categories used to measure school performance after an Ofsted visit this summer. It had achieved the second tier five years ago. The quality of teaching in secular subjects was “patchy”, with the weakest in years three and four, inspectors reported.

Children had not reached the levels in maths they had achieved in reading or writing by the age of seven.

Pupils’ progress had been hindered by the “mixed quality” of guidance they received in lessons. There were also “limited opportunities” for pupils to practise their writing skills throughout the school.

But more children in year six, the oldest class, had reached higher levels in maths this year, Ofsted noted.
Menorah pupils study national curriculum subjects for just under half the school day, with the rest dedicated to Jewish studies.

Governors chairman Joseph Holder said Menorah was “already well on the way to addressing” the areas that needed improvement following a report commissioned independently earlier in the year.
Initiatives started at that time “are now bearing fruit”, he said.

“This, coupled with additions and changes to our senior management team, means that the governors are confident that the school is well on its way back to its previous categorisation as a good school with outstanding features, and will then move on to and maintain outstanding [status] in all areas of teaching and learning.”

The governors were “very proud” that the school had been rated as outstanding by inspectors of its Jewish studies programme.

Last updated: 10:45am, September 30 2013