Manchester

Troubled Bollin Primary School 'is broken', says Ofsted

Bollin Primary, Bowdon Image copyright Google
Image caption Bollin Primary School was temporarily closed by Trafford Council in February

A school that was closed suddenly amid complaints by parents about leadership has been "left in tatters", an inspection has found.

Bollin Primary School in Bowdon, Greater Manchester, was temporarily closed by Trafford Council in February.

An Ofsted report says leaders at all levels, including governors, have failed to halt a decline in teaching, pupils' achievement and behaviour.

"It is a school in turmoil. It is broken," it said.

The closure followed a strike by teachers over workloads and protests by some parents.

The education watchdog inspected the school in March and said "the current atmosphere of discord and mistrust among staff and parents is doing little to build bridges and re-establish Bollin at the heart of the community".

The report said: "Emotions are running high and uncertainties about the future abound.

"Leaders at all levels have made too little difference to the quality of teaching."

Image copyright Manchester Evening News
Image caption Parents demonstrated outside the school in February while teachers went on strike over workloads

Since the last inspection in 2007 when the school was rated "outstanding", it said there has been "a rapid decline in teaching" with "no strategic direction or long-term plan to mend relationships, or tackle the considerable weaknesses in teaching".

Students' "weak attitudes to learning reflect their boredom in many classes," it added.

"Ineffective" governance has failed to stem the decline in teaching and pupils' achievement has "allowed the rumbling unhappiness with the school's leadership to escalate" with "no indication that the school is turning a corner".

Ofsted did praise the interim head teacher, who had been in the post for a week before the inspection, for "winning over staff, parents and pupils through her calm and warm manner".

It said pupils "are charming" and "a credit to their teachers and parents with their warm smiles, good manners and respectful attitudes to others".

But improvements must be made to "tackle endemic weaknesses in leadership" as "a matter of urgency," the report said.

The school has been approached for comment.

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