School etc

Tame Valley Community School Closed - for academy Nov. 30, 2012

see new Tame Valley Academy

Tame Valley Community School
Chillinghome Road
West Midlands

phone: 0121 *** ***

headteacher: Mr Peter Higgins


school holidays: via Birmingham council

Primary — Community School

Education phase
Establishment type
Community School
Establishment #
Close date
Nov. 30, 2012
Reason closed
For Academy
OSGB coordinates
Easting: 412684, Northing: 289875
GPS coordinates
Latitude: 52.507, Longitude: -1.8146
Accepting pupils
3—11 years old
Ofsted last inspection
May 24, 2011
Region › Const. › Ward
West Midlands › Birmingham, Hodge Hill › Hodge Hill
Urban > 10k - less sparse
Investor in People
Committed IiP Status

rooms to rent in Birmingham

Schools nearby

  1. Tame Valley Academy B368QJ (226 pupils)
  2. 0.3 miles Hodge Hill Girls' School B368EY (748 pupils)
  3. 0.3 miles Hodge Hill Primary School B368LD (718 pupils)
  4. 0.4 miles Bromford Infant School B368JH
  5. 0.4 miles Bromford Junior School B368JH
  6. 0.4 miles Hodge Hill College B368HB (1158 pupils)
  7. 0.4 miles Braidwood School for the Deaf B368AF (64 pupils)
  8. 0.5 miles The Firs Junior School B368LL
  9. 0.5 miles Firs Infant School B368LL
  10. 0.5 miles The Pines Special School B368LL (91 pupils)
  11. 0.6 miles St Wilfrid's Catholic Junior and Infant School B368LY (294 pupils)
  12. 0.6 miles Firs Primary School B368LL (456 pupils)
  13. 0.9 miles Birches Green Junior School B249SR (220 pupils)
  14. 0.9 miles Birches Green Infant School B249SR (249 pupils)
  15. 0.9 miles Ward End Primary School B82RA (726 pupils)
  16. 0.9 miles Heathlands Junior and Infant School (NC) B346NB (471 pupils)
  17. 0.9 miles St Peter and St Paul RC Junior and Infant School B249ND (209 pupils)
  18. 0.9 miles Heathlands Junior and Infant School (NC) B346NB
  19. 1 mile Gunter Primary School B240RU (253 pupils)
  20. 1 mile Colebourne Primary School B346BJ (421 pupils)
  21. 1 mile Beaufort School B346BJ (48 pupils)
  22. 1 mile Glenthorne Centre B249SA
  23. 1.1 mile Paget Primary School B240JP (317 pupils)
  24. 1.1 mile Washwood Heath Technology College B82AS

List of schools in Birmingham

Tribal Group

1-4 Portland Square

T 0845 123 6001
F 0845 123 6002

Ofsted helpline
08456 404045
reveal email: edhe…

31 January 2007
Mrs D Houghton
The Acting Headteacher
Tame Valley Community School
Chillinghome Road
West Midlands
B36 8QJ
Dear Mrs Houghton


Following my visit with Sally Hall, Additional Inspector, to your school on 16
and 17 January, I write on behalf of Her Majesty's Chief Inspector to confirm
the inspection findings.
The visit was the first monitoring inspection since the school became subject
to special measures in July 2006.
This letter will be posted on the Ofsted website. Please inform the Regional
Inspection Service Provider of any factual inaccuracies within 24 hours of the
receipt of this letter.


Inspectors observed the school’s work, scrutinised documents, and met with
the headteacher and other staff, governors, parents and local authority (LA)


There have been substantial changes in the staff of the school since the
inspection of July 2006. Changes made at the start of the academic year in
September 2006 have continued in January 2007 and include your recent
appointment as acting headteacher for the next two terms. The staff turnover
has, of necessity, required the services of several long term supply teachers.
In September, two staff were newly qualified teachers (NQT), and two had
limited experience of the English National Curriculum. There has been an
extensive programme of additional support, including a full time consultant
headteacher, weekly National Strategy consultant visits, Advanced Skills
teacher support for NQT staff, governor training, and financial support. The
substantive headteacher left the school at the end of December 2006, as did
one newly qualified teacher and another permanent member of staff. Two
staff are currently on maternity leave, with their classes covered by two
temporary teachers.

Achievement and standards

Detailed analysis of 2006 national tests confirmed the findings of the previous
inspection that achievement and standards are inadequate. The results place
the school amongst the weakest in the country in respect of measures of
progress at Key Stage 2. Standards seen in lessons, and in the work of pupils,
remain below average for their age, and there is little evidence of significant
progress in the current academic year so far in any class. There are few
examples of extended writing across the curriculum. Marking does not inform
pupils of what they should do to improve their work, so that the pupils’
genuine desire to respond to their teacher’s instruction is given little
opportunity to impact on their learning.
Progress on the areas for improvement identified by the inspection in July

 raise standards in Years 1 to 6, especially in English and mathematics, by

more effective teaching that has higher expectations of what pupils can
achieve – inadequate.

Personal development and well-being

The behaviour of most pupils is good both in lessons and around the school.
Pupils get on well with each other and are polite and courteous to adults.
They continue to enjoy coming to school but, in one perceptive comment, a
pupil said that school ‘was fun because the work is easy’. In lessons, pupils
are keen to contribute to class discussions and usually try hard with their
work when supported by teachers or teaching assistants. Even when the
tasks are mundane, pupils usually show positive attitudes to their work.
However, when lessons are dull, a minority of pupils quickly lose interest.
These pupils fidget and chat and achieve little by way of new learning.
The school has been successful in improving attendance, and it is not
complacent about the need for further work. It continues to work with
parents and pupils to promote regular attendance and liaise closely with
outside agencies where absence is a cause for concern.
Progress on the areas for improvement identified by the inspection in July

 work with parents and carers to improve all the pupils’ attendance


Quality of provision

The local authority primary evaluation review in December 2006 found the
quality of teaching to be inadequate overall. This monitoring visit judged
many lessons to be inadequate in each key stage. Three common concerns
were evident in these weak lessons: poor planning that did not build upon
each pupil’s prior learning; low expectations of what pupils could do if given
more challenging activities; and, lack of pace primarily because too much
time was taken up by teacher exposition rather than pupil activity.
Some basic shortfalls in classroom management, for example inconsistencies
in waiting for full class attention before talking to the class, prevent all pupils
from participating in the discussion. Despite this, there are good teacher-pupil
relationships and effective use of new information and communication
technology teaching and learning aids in the classroom.
The school and local authority have correctly identified assessment and
marking as another major aspect in need of improvement. Written comments
are not followed through, which signals to pupils that such comments are not
really meant to be taken seriously. Continuing staff changes have limited the
opportunities for pupils to build upon their previous learning because many
teachers have little evidence of what has already been studied. This is
because systematic tracking of pupil progress is undeveloped.
Plans exist in all years and form an adequate basic framework but do not
make allowances for variable rates of progress by different learners. In effect,
the planning covers the requirements of the National Curriculum without
reference to where pupils have reached on their learning journey. This is a
consequence of weak tracking of individual progress. Within the Foundation
Stage there are still too few opportunities for children to explore and find
things out for themselves. Although staff encourage them to choose from a
range of activities, these are rarely new, stimulating or challenging
experiences. The outdoor area is not used effectively to develop all areas of
children’s learning.

Care, guidance and support

A new special needs coordinator (from January 2007) is reviewing
assessments and refreshing learning plans for children with learning
difficulties and disabilities. The school is a safe and supportive place for
pupils, who are looked after well by teachers and support staff. Learning
support staff have often been the stable link in a period of staff turmoil and
have contributed significantly to maintaining positive pupil attitudes. Staff
show good care and concern for the pupils, and pupils say that staff deal
effectively with reported incidents of bullying. Systems to track pupils’
progress are not fully embedded and the use of assessment to plan effective
activities is too limited. Teachers do not give pupils enough guidance about
how to improve their work either in lessons or through marking.
Progress on the areas for improvement identified by the inspection in July

 improve the way in which the curriculum is planned to ensure that work is

more closely related to what pupils have already learned, so that they can
make faster progress – inadequate

 improve the quality of children’s experiences in the Foundation Stage so

that they can learn more effectively


Leadership and management

Staff changes throughout the autumn term have, in effect, meant that the
school is starting again at addressing the key issues from the July 2006
inspection. Much well intended and heavily financed support by the LA and
consultant headteacher has been lost as staff have left the school. The
impact, therefore, of the various parts of the LA action plan has been
dissipated, and the LA acknowledges that it has been ineffective so far. There
has been insufficient impact on teaching and learning, and a lack of
effectiveness in driving through improvements with the remaining substantive
staff. Both school and LA evaluation of teaching indicate that little
improvement has occurred so far. These evaluations are accurate, but no
effective action has been taken to respond to this information. The school
development plan had not been implemented. Subject coordinators have
either left the school, or only recently taken up role.
Parents have not had much information about the developments in the school
and are understandably concerned for the future of their children’s education.
Many expressed a willingness to contribute to the school and to help support
its improvement.
Staff now report a clear leadership steer, a more positive morale, and better
communication as a result of the headteacher’s very recent work since
arriving at the school last week. In a short time, she has quickly understood
the overriding priority to improve teaching and learning, re-established basic
systems of planning and review, and has demonstrated confidence in the
school’s basic potential to improve.
Governors have been only partly aware of the school’s performance in the
past, and have not all had timely access to LA monitoring reports. Recent
events have made them more aware of this essential information. Governors
are well meaning and supportive but they have yet to develop proactive
strategies to gather information themselves about school performance.
Partnerships with parents are underdeveloped. In cooperation with the LA,
governors now need to begin to secure the long term quality of future
leadership of the school from September 2007.
Progress on the areas for improvement identified by the inspection in July

 raise the quality of leadership and management so that senior staff,

coordinators and governors rigorously monitor and evaluate all aspects of
pupils’ education and consistently implement the priorities in the
improvement plan

– inadequate.

External support

As noted above, much of the first term’s local authority support has been lost
along with departing staff, although this does afford the new headteacher the
opportunity to bring a fresh approach and new staff to the school. The action
plan is satisfactory, with commendable deployment of significant resources to
help the school, but it has not made an impact. It has success criteria that
are too vague to serve as a sharp tool to raise overall expectations.

Main Judgements

Progress since being subject to special measures – inadequate.
Newly qualified teachers may not be appointed.

Priorities for further improvement

 Intensify the focus on improving the quality of teaching and learning using

all available means, including shared teaching, peer observation and
demonstration of good practice in this and other schools.

I am copying this letter to the Secretary of State, the chair of governors and
the Director of Children’s Services for Birmingham.
Yours sincerely

Brian Cartwright

Her Majesty’s Inspector

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