A north school and nursery have been criticised by inspectors who told them to make immediate changes to the way it protects and safeguards children.
In a report, government inspectors raise questions over Grantown Primary School and Nursery – with some changes labelled as urgent.
Citing a high turnover of management staff in the previous five years, the report stated: “Currently the headteacher, depute headteacher and principal teacher are all acting posts which began in August 2018.”
But it was the protecting and safeguarding of infants and children that raised the greatest concern for both Her Majesty’s Inspectors of Schools and the Care Inspectorate. The report stated: “The school submitted self-evaluation information related to child protection and safeguarding.
“Inspectors discussed this information with relevant staff and, where appropriate, children.
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“In addition, inspectors examined a sample of safeguarding documentation.
“Areas for development have been agreed with the school and the education authority that need to be addressed as a matter of urgency.”
In a letter to parents, it said: “We are not at present confident from our short visit that the school has effective arrangements for ensuring continuing improvement in the quality of education for all learners.
“We will return within 12 months from the publication of this letter to explore this further. After the return inspection we will report our findings to you.”
In the school, of the four areas of inspection it undertook it graded the school weak in every area, while the nursery class fared better with three areas being graded as adequate and one, quality of environment, as good.
The inspection criticisms of the school were wide ranging, the inspector said: “The lack of focus and direction has therefore not improved the ethos of the school.
“Learning is not sufficiently challenging and this is having a negative impact on the pace of learning and impeding appropriate progress for children. There is considerable scope for staff to have higher aspirations and shared understanding of what most children are capable of achieving.
“Senior leaders should provide clearer leadership to ensure individualised educational programmes are considered for care experienced children and those with identified needs.”
The school and nursery was praised for its children being “enthusiastic and proud” of their achievements, and the teamwork of all staff across the school and nursery.
A Highland Council spokeswoman said: “Following on from an inspection at Grantown Primary School by Education Scotland and the Care Inspectorate in September 2018, The Highland Council will be providing additional support to the teaching team in Grantown Primary School.
“This will build on current strengths in the school; but will focus on the clear steer provided by Inspectors’ findings, as with any inspection report.”