AN INDEPENDENT school in Sevenhampton is still falling short of meeting educational standards according to Ofsted – almost a year since it was rated inadequate.

Maranatha Christian School was ordered to improve by the education regulator back in October last year and as a result, was given key issues to work on.

This week, Ofsted published its findings of a monitoring inspection report – carried out in July to check on its progress – which found several areas had not yet been addressed.

Jonathan Dyer, lead inspector said in his report that quality of leadership and the welfare, health and safety of pupils were two key areas of concern.

“The school’s wider arrangements to safeguard pupils are still not in line with statutory guidance,” he wrote. “There is a lack of clarity regarding the leadership of safeguarding in the school.

“The level of training that has been undertaken by safeguarding leaders falls short of legal requirements. Similarly, not all members of staff have up-to-date safeguarding training and this, too, is in breach of statutory guidance.

“At the time of the previous inspection, school leaders had not ensured that all of the independent school standards had been met. This remains the case. While they have successfully resolved a number of the unmet standards, some remain unmet.

“The school’s arrangements to safeguard its pupils remain inadequate. There are still some persisting issues identified at the previous inspection as not meeting the independent school standards which have not been met.”

However, Mr Dyer was quick to praise the school for areas it had addressed.

“At the time of the previous standard inspection, the school did not have an effective written policy on the curriculum, and the curriculum was not supported by appropriate plans or schemes of work,” he added. “In addition, the plans being used by the school did not take into account the ages, aptitudes and needs of all pupils, including those with an education, health and care plan.

“The standard in this paragraph is now met.

“At the time of the previous standard inspection, teaching was not effective. The quality of teaching, learning and assessment was not of a sufficiently high standard to enable pupils to acquire new knowledge and make good progress according to their ability.”

“Consequently, pupils did not increase their understanding and develop their skills in the subjects taught sufficiently. In addition, the inspection found that teaching did not take into account pupils’ needs or prior attainment.

“The standard in this paragraph is now met.”

He said these matters now met the required standards.

Maranatha Christian School, which is a fee-paying faith school, caters for 90 boys and girls aged between three and 19. Once rated as good, the school is owned by the New Maranatha Christian School Trust.

Headteacher Joy Nurcombe has since come out to say that all of the areas where standards had not been met were now addressed and the school is awaiting Ofsted’s return to confirm this.

“It was a fantastic visit from Ofsted and we have done everything they asked and more.

“We are confident to move forward and achieve that outstanding rating and we are looking forward for them to come back to see what we have done.”