School etc

William Morris School

William Morris School
Bretch Hill

phone: 01295 258224

headteacher: Mrs S Newman

school holidays: via Oxfordshire council

184 pupils aged 3—10y mixed gender
175 pupils capacity: 105% full

105 boys 56%


80 girls 43%


Last updated: June 20, 2014

Primary — Community School

Education phase
Establishment type
Community School
Establishment #
OSGB coordinates
Easting: 443655, Northing: 241193
GPS coordinates
Latitude: 52.067, Longitude: -1.3646
Accepting pupils
3—11 years old
Census date
Jan. 16, 2014
Ofsted last inspection
May 16, 2013
Region › Const. › Ward
South East › Banbury › Banbury Ruscote
Urban > 10k - less sparse
Free school meals %

rooms to rent in Banbury

Schools nearby

  1. William Morris Nursery School OX160UZ
  2. 0.3 miles Drayton School OX160UD
  3. 0.3 miles North Oxfordshire Academy OX160UD (1013 pupils)
  4. 0.4 miles Neithrop County Junior School OX160RD
  5. 0.4 miles Hill View Primary School OX161DN (522 pupils)
  6. 0.5 miles St Joseph's Catholic Primary School, Banbury OX160ET (222 pupils)
  7. 0.5 miles St Joseph's Catholic Primary School, Banbury OX160ET
  8. 0.6 miles Orchard Fields Community School OX160QT (400 pupils)
  9. 0.6 miles Hardwick Primary School OX161XE (196 pupils)
  10. 0.8 miles Frank Wise School OX169RL (108 pupils)
  11. 0.9 miles Banbury Pupil Referral Unit OX169QJ
  12. 0.9 miles North Oxfordshire College and School of Art OX169QA
  13. 1 mile Queensway School OX169NF (253 pupils)
  14. 1.1 mile St Mary's Church of England (VC) Primary School, Banbury OX162EG (228 pupils)
  15. 1.1 mile Hanwell Fields Community School OX161ER
  16. 1.1 mile Hanwell Fields Community School OX161ER (306 pupils)
  17. 1.2 mile Harriers Ground Community Primary School OX169JW
  18. 1.2 mile Harriers Banbury Academy OX169JW (334 pupils)
  19. 1.3 mile Dashwood School OX164RX
  20. 1.3 mile Bishop Carpenter Church of England Aided Primary School OX156AQ (112 pupils)
  21. 1.3 mile St John's Priory School OX165HX (108 pupils)
  22. 1.3 mile English Language Training OX169AH
  23. 1.5 mile Banbury School OX169HY
  24. 1.5 mile Banbury Academy OX169HY (1086 pupils)

List of schools in Banbury

School report

William Morris School

Bretch Hill, Banbury, Oxfordshire, OX16 0UZ

Inspection dates 14–15 May 2015
Overall effectiveness This inspection: Inadequate 4
Previous inspection: Requires improvement 3
Leadership and management Inadequate 4
Behaviour and safety of pupils Requires improvement 3
Quality of teaching Inadequate 4
Achievement of pupils Inadequate 4
Early years provision Inadequate 4

Summary of key findings for parents and pupils

This is a school that requires special measures.
The school has the following strengths

Leaders and managers have failed to arrest a
Leaders do not pay enough attention to the
Governors have not been effective in holding the
The school’s collection of information about pupils’
Pupils in Key Stage 1 reach standards that are
progress and the quality of teaching is scant and
not systematic. As a result, the areas requiring
improvement are not effectively identified or
consistently below national averages and there is
no evidence of improvements.
decline in the quality of teaching so that pupils’
achievement by the end of Key Stage 2 has fallen
and is now inadequate. Achievement is
particularly weak in mathematics.
impact teachers make on pupils’ progress when
setting teachers’ development targets and
checking they are meeting them.
school leaders to account for the quality of
teaching and the progress that pupils make.
Disadvantaged pupils are making inadequate
Subject leaders have not had the opportunity to
Teachers underestimate what pupils can achieve.
Pupils’ behaviour requires improvement. Pupils do
Pupils have a poor understanding of what
Children in the Reception class are not helped to
progress and the gaps between their achievement
and that of their peers have widened.
develop their skills and so have been unable to lead
improvements in their areas of responsibility.
Tasks set do not help all pupils make progress.
not always listen to instructions and quickly settle to
work. This low level disruption slows learning.
constitutes bullying and are unclear about risk, thus
compromising their ability to keep themselves safe.
achieve a good level of development.
Children have a good start to school in the
Pupils in Key Stage 2 made stronger progress in
The recently appointed special educational needs
Nursery, where they make good progress.
writing in 2014.
coordinator has clearly identified pupils’ needs and
begun to take action to improve support, so these
pupils are beginning to make better progress.
Strategies to improve pupils’ punctuality have led to
Pupils are polite and courteous.
Relationships across the school are strong; pupils
more pupils being on time for school.
and adults respect and trust each other.

Information about this inspection

  • Inspectors observed pupils learning in 11 lessons or part-lessons. The lead inspector carried out a learning
    walk with the special educational needs coordinator to observe various group activities supporting pupils’
    better understanding and progress.
  • Meetings were held with senior and middle leaders, teaching and non-teaching staff, members of the
    governing body and with pupils from Years 2 to 6. The lead inspector met with a representative of the
    local authority and a local leader of education.
  • The inspectors listened to pupils from Years 1 and 2 read.
  • Inspectors looked at the school’s development plans. They also looked at safeguarding documentation and
    minutes of the governing body meetings. They looked at some records of pupils’ progress and evaluated
    work in pupils’ books.
  • Inspectors considered the 13 staff questionnaires that were returned.
  • Inspectors considered the 12 responses to the online parent questionnaire Parent View. They also noted
    comments from parents, including an email.

Inspection team

Jenny Batelen, Lead inspector Additional Inspector
Alison Botarelli Additional Inspector

Full report

In accordance with the Education Act 2005, Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector is of the opinion that this school
requires special measures because it is failing to give its pupils an acceptable standard of education and the
persons responsible for leading, managing or governing the school are not demonstrating the capacity to
secure the necessary improvement in the school.

Information about this school

  • William Morris School is smaller than the average-sized primary school.
  • Nearly all pupils are White British, the remainder coming from a range of other ethnic heritages.
  • The proportion of disabled pupils and those who have special educational needs is above average.
  • Almost half of the pupils are known to be eligible for support through the pupil premium (additional
    funding for pupils known to be eligible for free school meals and children in the care of the local
    authority). This is much higher than average.
  • The school does not meet the government’s floor standards, which set the minimum expectations for
    attainment and progress.
  • The school has a Nursery which children attend part-time in mornings or afternoons. There are single-year
    classes in Reception, which children attend full time, and also in Years 1, 2 and 3. There are mixed-aged
    classes for Years 4/5 and Years 5/6. This can vary depending on the numbers of pupils in each year.
  • The governors manage a breakfast club.
  • The headteacher took up her post in September 2014 but was absent through ill health during the period
    of the inspection. At the time of the inspection the school was led by two acting part-time deputy
    headteachers who both have full-time class teaching commitments, with some time for leadership tasks.
    At the request of the governors they are currently being supported by a local leader of education and the
    local authority.

What does the school need to do to improve further?

  • Establish a secure leadership team with the knowledge and skills to rapidly raise achievement by:
    ensuring roles and responsibilities for all leaders are clear and understood with dedicated time for
    leaders to effectively lead and contribute to school improvement
    embedding a cycle for school improvement that includes the collection and analysis of information about
    pupils’ progress so that areas for development are clearly identified, acted upon and regularly
    equipping members of the governing body to rigorously challenge leaders to improve all areas of the
    school, including teaching and achievement.
  • Raise achievement so that the majority of pupils make at least good progress, especially in mathematics,
    setting realistic and challenging targets for all pupils to achieve the best they can
    monitoring the progress of pupils regularly and putting support in place to ensure targets are met
    ensuring that checks on pupils’ attainment and progress are correct
    routinely practising basic skills and establishing a secure understanding of the language associated with
    each subject, especially mathematics.
  • Improve the quality of teaching across the school, including in the Reception year, so that it is
    consistently good and secures rapid progress for all pupils by:
    raising expectations of what pupils and children can achieve, and setting challenging and exciting tasks
    that fully engage pupils so that they concentrate and do not disrupt their own and others’ learning
    using questioning consistently well to determine pupils’ understanding and to deepen their thinking
    ensuring oral and written feedback focuses on improving skills and is linked to pupils’ targets for
    using the system of setting targets for teachers linked to pupils’ progress to rigorously check that the
    quality of teaching is improving
    increasing pupils’ understanding of different forms of bullying and how to respond to any that happens
    developing pupils’ understanding of risk so they know how to keep themselves safe.
    External reviews of governance and of the school’s use of pupil premium should be undertaken in order to
    assess how these aspects of leadership and management may be improved.

Inspection judgements

The leadership and management are inadequate
  • Senior leaders and governors have failed to create an ethos that leads to a continuous drive for
    improvement. As a result pupils’ achievement has not improved and the quality of teaching is inadequate.
  • Leaders do not track the progress different groups of pupils make carefully enough. As a result different
    groups of pupils, including disadvantaged pupils, make inadequate progress.
  • School leaders and governors have not evaluated how well the school uses its additional pupil premium
    funding to help disadvantaged pupils to make enough progress to close the gaps in their learning with
    their peers. The school is not consistently ensuring equal opportunities for all pupils.
  • Mathematics teaching is particularly poor and is leading to weak achievement in this subject throughout
    the school. Children in the Reception class and pupils in Key Stage 1 make inadequate progress in literacy
    and mathematics and so attainment is consistently below the national average.
  • Senior leaders manage teachers’ performance poorly. Targets set for teachers to help them improve their
    practice do not relate closely enough to the Teachers’ Standards and are not challenging enough.
  • Leaders’ evaluation of the school’s work is not accurate in the judgements made. They overestimate how
    well the school is performing compared to the national picture. School development plans are not clear
    enough about how progress will be made and are not evaluated properly to check actions have worked.
  • Some middle leaders, including those who lead subjects, have not been given the opportunity to develop
    their skills or time to review and manage their area of responsibility. As a result, they do not know about
    the quality of teaching or the standards that pupils reach. They are not able to contribute to school
    improvement and raise standards.
  • The acting deputy headteachers are making every effort to effectively lead the school at the time of the
    inspection. They have implemented some improvements, particularly in ensuring that policies are being
    updated and reviewed so they help secure improvements for the school. However, as full-time class
    teachers, they are not able to spend enough time monitoring the work of the school.
  • The recently appointed special educational needs coordinator has been effective in analysing the needs of
    pupils. She works with staff to establish the best ways of supporting disabled pupils and those who have
    special educational needs. She has put in place a range of intervention strategies to help pupils make
    more progress, and there is evidence of some rapid improvements. The school’s improving provision for
    disabled pupils and those who have special educational needs shows it is committed to ensuring there is
    no discrimination.
  • The range of subjects studied is broad and balanced. Pupils have opportunities to visit places of interest
    and to welcome visitors, who share their knowledge and experience. However, opportunities are missed
    for pupils to develop further the skills learnt in English and mathematics across all subjects.
  • Pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is promoted through assemblies and the school’s
    values of respect, pride, bravery and justice. Strong relationships are fostered well. Pupils learn about
    different cultures and faiths and celebrate those represented in the school. As a result they are adequately
    prepared for life in modern Britain.
  • The development of the school breakfast club has ensured that pupils who had struggled to be punctual
    are enabled to be on time to school, so the percentage of late arrivals has reduced considerably in the last
    few months.
  • The primary physical education (PE) sport funding has mainly been used to involve the school with a local
    sports partnership that gives access to expert advice and in-school support for teachers and sports
    coaches. Pupils enjoy PE and teachers have gained confidence in teaching the subject.
  • A recent local authority safeguarding review, and the school’s response to this, has ensured safeguarding
    procedures meet statutory requirements so that pupils are kept safe and staff understand their
  • Parents spoken to, and the few who responded to Parent View, have mixed views about how well the
    school is led and managed. A third would not recommend the school.
  • The local authority has given intensive support to the school since September 2014 but it is too early to
    determine its impact. The school intervention leader has challenged the headteacher to monitor and
    evaluate the work of the school and to monitor the progress pupils make. Recently this has begun to be
    developed by the acting deputy headteachers with the support of the local leader in education.
  • The school should not seek to appoint newly qualified teachers.
  • The governance of the school:
    Since the last inspection, governors have not held school leaders to account for the quality of teaching
    or the standards being achieved at the school. The governing body has been through a period of
    change and this has resulted in a lack of challenge to school leaders. Governors have not asked
    questions about the quality of teaching, how leaders manage staff performance and ensure that
    teaching improves or weaknesses are tackled. They have not checked how the school is performing
    compared with national standards and so have not challenged leaders to make improvements to, for
    example, mathematics teaching. They have not evaluated how well additional funds, such as pupil
    premium, help improve outcomes for pupils.
    In September 2014 the governors undertook a review of their work. New governors took up positions
    and as a result there have been some improvements. Policies have been reviewed and there is an
    improving understanding of how well the school is performing compared with national. Governors have
    begun to challenge school leaders to provide better information so that they can effectively manage
    their role. They have a better understanding of the quality of teaching and are more aware of teachers
    who are not playing a strong enough role in leading improvements in the school.
The behaviour and safety of pupils require improvement
  • The behaviour of pupils requires improvement.
  • Pupils enjoy talking about their school and their work. They understand the school’s values and the
    majority of pupils enact these.
  • Where lessons engage pupils’ interest most pupils settle quickly to their tasks and listen carefully to each
    other and adults. However, not all pupils have sufficient interest and excitement about their learning and
    as a result they do not always focus on their activities. They do not get on with their work and sometimes
    slow down the progress of the lesson.
  • Pupils understand the systems to help them behave well. They value the rewards they receive, but also
    appreciate the chance to reflect on their own behaviour and how this helps them to improve.
  • Pupils move around the school sensibly, behave well in the lunch hall and play sensibly and safely
    together at playtimes.
  • The elected school council provides a way for pupils to contribute to leadership in the school, such as
    leading fund-raising events and helping interview for new staff.
  • Staff and parents have mixed views about how well pupils behave, and over half the staff do not consider
    that behaviour is consistently well managed. Pupils recognise that behaviour in some lessons requires
  • The school’s work to keep pupils safe and secure requires improvement.
  • Pupils are not secure in their understanding of what constitutes bullying, and have a limited understanding
    of risk, compromising their ability to keep themselves safe. However, pupils have a good understanding of
    how to be safe when using modern technologies. This was clearly demonstrated when a pupil in Year 2
    explained why it was necessary to close down their work securely so that no one else could access it.
  • Attendance has been below the national figure for two years. Recent work with some families has
    decreased the number of pupils late to school or persistently absent, and attendance overall is improving.
The quality of teaching is inadequate
  • Because teaching is inadequate too many pupils make limited progress in reading, writing and
  • Teachers underestimate what pupils can achieve. As a result the tasks they set do not challenge pupils to
    reach the standards appropriate for their age. Pupils themselves comment that they ‘would like work to be
    a bit harder’.
  • Pupils are not always encouraged to take a pride in their work. This means they do not try to do their best
    so work is difficult to read both for them and their teacher, and is therefore difficult to correct. Pupils
    report enjoying using cursive handwriting, but this is not consistently evident in the books of older pupils.
  • The collection of information about how pupils are progressing has not been systematic or shared
    effectively with staff. Teachers are only just beginning to understand how to plan for all groups of pupils
    in their class and to ensure that tasks are provided to help all make good progress.
  • There has been some recent progress in teaching. Pupils know what they must do to make improvements.
    They understand and value the recent development in teachers’ marking of their books and in enabling
    them to assess their own work. This is strong in some writing books where pupils and teachers evaluate
    how well they have done and how they could improve. However, teachers’ feedback does not always
    relate well enough to pupils’ targets to ensure pupils understand how to reach them.
  • Inadequate teaching of mathematics means pupils do not have a secure grasp of the basic skills required,
    or know and understand the language of mathematics. They have a lot of gaps in their knowledge and,
    despite recent changes to the way mathematics is taught, standards are not improving enough. ‘Hotch
    Potch’ time, when pupils practise a range of skills, is beginning to help them secure better skills.
  • The school’s focus on improving the teaching of phonics has not been successful. Teachers have not
    ensured pupils use these skills when reading and writing. As a result, younger pupils are hesitant in their
    reading, constantly stopping to work out words, and this hinders their understanding of what they are
    reading. Pupils do not consistently use their grammar, punctuation and spelling skills to make sure that
    their written work is of a good standard.
  • When teaching is better, adults use questions skilfully to understand how well pupils are learning and to
    help deepen their thinking. However, this is not consistently used across the school. Sometimes adults are
    too quick to supply answers or do not challenge pupils to think further about the task they are doing.
The achievement of pupils is inadequate
  • Pupils across the school, including those from different ethnic heritages, do not make enough progress.
    Different groups of pupils, including disadvantaged pupils, do not make enough progress from their varied
    starting points to ensure they achieve all they can.
  • Children in Nursery make good progress, but this slows in the Reception class so that a low proportion of
    children leave early years well equipped to start in Year 1, especially in literacy and mathematics skills.
  • Pupils in Year 1 improved the standards reached in the phonics screening check in 2014, and at a faster
    rate than national, although they remain below the national level. Current school checks suggest that
    there will be a further improvement this year.
  • In 2014, pupils in Year 2 reached levels that were well below those attained nationally in writing and
    mathematics. Results were also low in 2013 and these results were lower than 2012. Levels in reading
    were below those nationally, but had improved on those attained in 2013. However, school predictions
    and work in books indicate that there will be no improvements overall in Key Stage1 made this year.
  • When pupils left the school in Year 6 in 2014, standards in mathematics were well below those found
    nationally. Standards in reading and writing were also below national expectations. Although there was
    some improvement in writing, this still showed pupils had made too little progress during Key Stage 2.
  • Current work in books shows limited progress across Key Stage 2, and the progress of pupils currently in
    Year 6 is inadequate.
  • Significant gaps in pupils’ mathematical understanding, their weak grasp of mathematical language and
    basic skills, means they attain low standards and progress is inadequate.
  • The most able pupils are making inadequate progress, especially in mathematics. They are not given
    sufficiently challenging work to help them to reach the higher levels.
  • Disabled pupils and those who have special educational needs have made inadequate progress. Teachers
    have not planned activities that help these pupils achieve well. Recent developments include a clear
    analysis of their needs and more appropriate provision through planning work and support in class and
    intervention groups. This means that these pupils are now beginning to make better progress.
  • The progress of disadvantaged pupils is consistently below that of other pupils nationally and so the gaps
    between their attainment and that of their peers are not closing. In the 2014 national tests, the gap in
    disadvantaged pupils’ attainment compared with other pupils nationally was equivalent to three and a half
    terms in reading, three terms in mathematics and three and a half terms in writing. The gaps widened in
    mathematics, and closed slightly in reading and writing, having widened by five terms and four terms
    respectively in 2013. Compared to other pupils in the school the equivalent gaps were two and a half
    terms for reading and three terms for writing and no gap for mathematics.
The early years provision is inadequate
  • Leaders of the early years have not ensured that children make progress throughout their time in the
    provision. Leaders are unclear about the skill levels of children when they start the Nursery and Reception
    classes. Links with other providers are not strong enough to support this process.
  • Children have a good start to school in the Nursery class. Good phonics and handwriting teaching helps
    children to establish good skills in writing, and using sounds they learn to name objects and develop early
    reading skills. Adults use questioning to help children develop their thinking and language skills, as they
    encourage children to speak in full sentences. The range of activities interest and excite the children so
    that they learn well.
  • This good practice is not continued in the Reception class. Children are not helped to make progress,
    particularly in literacy and mathematics skills. Boys and disadvantaged children’s progress is weaker than
    that of their peers.
  • Activities in Reception do not interest children sufficiently. Adults do not make enough of opportunities to
    develop and extend children’s skills. As a result some children, especially boys, lose concentration and so
    make inadequate progress towards a good level of development. Consequently, many are ill prepared for
    entry to Year 1.
  • Children mostly play well together, both inside and outside. They engage in their own play as well as
    working with adults, usually showing respect for each other. However, in Reception, adults do not correct
    or model good behaviour and do not establish high expectations.
  • The early years area is safe and children learn how to play safely and use equipment in a safe way.
  • Parents feel that their children are happy at school and most feel that any concerns would be dealt with.
    There is limited evidence that parents contribute information about successes at home to inform the
    collection of evidence about how well children are progressing.

What inspection judgements mean


Grade Judgement Description
Grade 1 Outstanding An outstanding school is highly effective in delivering outcomes that
provide exceptionally well for all its pupils’ needs. This ensures that pupils
are very well equipped for the next stage of their education, training or
Grade 2 Good A good school is effective in delivering outcomes that provide well for all
its pupils’ needs. Pupils are well prepared for the next stage of their
education, training or employment.
Grade 3 Requires
A school that requires improvement is not yet a good school, but it is not
inadequate. This school will receive a full inspection within 24 months
from the date of this inspection.
Grade 4 Inadequate A school that requires special measures is one where the school is failing
to give its pupils an acceptable standard of education and the school’s
leaders, managers or governors have not demonstrated that they have
the capacity to secure the necessary improvement in the school. This
school will receive regular monitoring by Ofsted inspectors.

A school that has serious weaknesses is inadequate overall and requires
significant improvement but leadership and management are judged to
be Grade 3 or better. This school will receive regular monitoring by
Ofsted inspectors.

School details

Unique reference number 122998
Local authority Oxfordshire
Inspection number 462382

This inspection of the school was carried out under section 5 of the Education Act 2005.

Type of school Primary
School category Community
Age range of pupils 3–11
Gender of pupils Mixed
Number of pupils on the school roll 175
Appropriate authority The governing body
Chair Charlotte Christie
Headteacher Lorna Middleton
Date of previous school inspection 16–17 May 2013
Telephone number 01295 258224
Fax number 01295 252317
Email address

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