PUPILS at a Hereford school do not receive a high enough quality of education, with school leadership being inconsistent. 

That is the view of Ofsted inspectors who have rated Blackmarston School inadequate.

The Redhill-based school caters for children between the ages of two and 11 who have special educational needs. 

However, according to Ofsted inspectors Claire Price and Rachel Perks, despite the acting headteacher having a clear understanding of how the school is doing and what needs to improve, 'she has been hampered in her work by a lack of clarity about leadership roles.'


"Governors have not acted quickly enough to make sure that there is an appropriate leadership structure in place," reads the report.

"They have not made sure that leaders have clearly defined roles and responsibilities. Leaders do not have enough time to perform their roles. This has led to a lack of stability, and leaders have not made enough progress in improving the work of the school."

The inspectors added that staff have not received training in all the subjects that they teach, which means sometimes pupils do not learn as well as they could.

"Leaders have developed a way of checking what pupils know and can do," they said.

"However, assessment is not used well enough to identify what pupils need to learn or to do next.

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"Leaders are ambitious that all pupils should learn to read. They have worked with speech and language therapists to develop a reading curriculum to help all pupils be able to identify and then physically make the sounds that lead to learning phonics.

"This has been successful for those pupils who are at the earliest stages of communication. A phonics programme has been in place for two years. However, staff have not received effective training in how to deliver this scheme. This means that teaching of reading is not consistent, which in turn hinders pupils’ learning."

The report does, however, say that safeguarding arrangements at the school are effective, and leaders ensure that staff are trained to identify the signs that pupils may be at risk.

The Hereford Times has approached Blackmarston School for a comment.