APPLICATIONS for school places in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole for September 2022 have now opened - but which schools require improvement? 

Ofsted is responsible for inspecting a range of educational institutions and awards ratings based on their findings. 

Schools are graded on a four-point scale, grade one is outstanding, grade two is good, grade three means the institution requires improvement and grade four is inadequate. 

There is currently one school within the BCP council area that has been rated inadequate.

According to the latest figures, there are six schools in the conurbation that have been rated as ‘requires improvement’ by Ofsted.

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The Grange School - Inadequate 

Ofsted said: “Pupils, especially those who are disadvantaged, do not make good progress across a wide range of subjects. GCSE examination results have been poor for the last two years. As a result, pupils are not well prepared for the next stage of their education or employment."

However they added: “Leaders from the trust have worked together effectively to make improvements to the quality of teaching, learning and assessment.  Pupils have good opportunities to participate in extracurricular activities, such as drama, music and sport.”

Since this full inspection The Grange have had four monitoring visits - the most recent of which occurred in March 2021.

The inspector who carried out the latest monitoring visit concluded that leaders and those responsible for governance were taking effective action to provide education during the pandemic.

Date of last full inspection: May 2018

Bethany Church of England Junior School - Requires improvement

Ofsted said: “Since his appointment in 2016, the headteacher has faced significant challenges in improving the school’s effectiveness. These include having to manage several redundancies and make other staff changes. The challenges have restricted the school’s attempts to rectify previous underachievement. 

But they added: “The leadership successfully integrates pupils from a range of backgrounds and challenging circumstances into a caring environment. This fosters impressive personal development. However, this has not yet been matched by progress in developing the knowledge and academic progress necessary to give pupils the best possible start in the next phase of their education after leaving the school."

Date of last inspection: June 2018

Corfe Hills School - Requires improvement

Ofsted said: “Pupils of different abilities are not making the progress they are capable of. This is because leaders’ and teachers’ expectations of what pupils can achieve are not high enough.  The school’s policy of teachers providing feedback to help pupils improve their work is applied inconsistently across subjects.  Governors do not sufficiently verify the impact of leaders’ actions, although they are now holding leaders to greater account.  Absence for vulnerable groups of pupils is too high.”

But they added: “Pupils are well looked after in the school. Their social, emotional and behavioural needs are well met through a range of good-quality support.  Aspects of teaching are improving because of recent initiatives and the commitment and professionalism of staff. These are helping pupils to make more progress.”

Date of last inspection: January 2018

Heathlands Primary Academy - Requires improvement

Ofsted said: “Unavoidable changes in staff leadership roles and in the governing body in recent years have constrained the school’s ability to rectify identified weaknesses in the school’s performance as quickly as desired. The quality of teaching has improved, but is still uneven across the school, especially across early years and key stage one."

However, Ofsted added: “Safeguarding procedures, and the care, guidance and support of pupils’ well-being, including through sport, are strengths of the school.  Pupils say that they feel safe at school and enjoy the many clubs and visits. Parents agree and value the school’s support in time of need.  Good relationships between staff and pupils, and among pupils, support their learning.”

Date of last inspection: June 2018

Hillbourne Primary School - Requires improvement

Ofsted said: “Leaders have not thought enough about what they want pupils to learn. The important things that pupils should know, understand and be able to do in each subject are not clear. Pupils are not clear what they are aiming towards in their learning. 

“In subjects such as history, teachers have little guidance about what to teach, how to teach it and when to teach it. Pupils complete different activities in lessons. But it is not clear how this helps pupils to develop their skills of historical enquiry or build on what they already know.”

Ofsted added: "Teachers encourage pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) to do their best. Pupils with SEND struggle to learn what they should because they do not receive enough of the right help.

“Younger pupils in the school do not learn phonics quickly enough. This is because teachers are not ambitious in their expectations of the sounds, words and books that pupils should be able to read by the end of each term."

Date of last inspection: September 2019

Oak Academy - Requires improvement

Ofsted said: “Over recent years, the attainment and progress of pupils by the end of Year 11 and Year 13 have been well below the national average. The progress of current pupils is improving and illustrates the positive changes that have been made since the school became part of the Ambitions Academies Trust in 2017.”

They added: “This is an improving school. The trust has provided significant support and a sense of moral purpose. The director of outcomes and principal provide stability and a clear sense of direction about how improvements will be achieved."

This school has had two monitoring visits, most recently in July 2021. 

The Ofsted inspector said: “Leaders and those responsible for governance are taking effective action in order for the school to become a good school.”

Date of last full inspection: November 2018

The Priory Church of England Primary School - Requires improvement

Ofsted said: “Since the previous inspection, the school has experienced significant changes in leadership, staffing and governance. These changes have resulted in a decline in standards. The quality of teaching, learning and assessment is variable across year groups and subjects. Over time, systems to track and record pupils’ progress have not been effective. Leaders and teachers have not been able to identify pupils who are falling behind, or to intervene swiftly enough.”

However they added: “The newly appointed headteacher has quickly acquired an in-depth and accurate picture of the school’s areas for development. Along with two skilled assistant headteachers, he is driving improvement at a fast pace.  Leaders’ plans to improve the quality of teaching, learning and assessment are beginning to have an impact. As a result, rates of progress have increased.”

Date of last inspection: April 2018 

This information has been sourced from and is correct as of September 8, 2021.