Inspector warn school for being ‘over-reliant’ on classroom assistants

The Regius school
The Regius school
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AN independent Christian school in the Capital has been told it must act without delay to ensure it is adequately staffed with qualified teachers.

Inspectors who visited Regius School in Newcraighall said there was an “over-reliance” on classroom assistants for considerable amounts of teaching time.

The school, which takes children from five to 14, says it aims to be “a centre of educational excellence where each child’s unique ability is recognised and developed”.

But the report said: “Regius School has faced many challenges recently, in relation to its staffing, leadership and governance. As a result, limited evidence was available to us during our visit to demonstrate the school’s capacity to maintain an on-going, accurate evaluation of its work.”

The report said the school offered an attractive learning environment.

“All teaching areas are welcoming and resourced well. All staff know the children and young people well and support them in their learning.”

And it said across the school, children were making appropriate progress in literacy and numeracy, though there was scope to ensure learning experiences were “sufficiently challenging” for all pupils, particularly those at S1 and S2.

The report described pupils as “happy, friendly and eager to learn” and said staff worked hard to help them to believe in themselves and become more confident.

But it continued: “The board of governors and senior managers need to ensure that the school is suitably staffed at all times with qualified teachers, in order to deliver an appropriate curriculum for the ages of all learners in the school.”

And it highlighted other “important issues that need to be addressed without delay”, including strengthening the arrangements for governance and leadership and strengthening staff’s awareness of the policies and procedures for child protection and safeguarding.

The inspectors concluded: “We are not at present confident that the school has effective arrangements for ensuring continuing improvement in the quality of education for all learners.”

Headteacher Jenny Taylor said the school had made many changes as a result of the inspection, including the appointment of new staff and the addition of new members to the school board.

“New policy and procedure documents are in place and the school is starting to thrive again,” she said.

“During this time of transition, improvement and further development the board of directors are confident that the points raised by the inspection will continue to be carefully considered and, where necessary, new policies and strategies will be established and improvements will provide the impact and resolution required.”

iswanson@edinburghnews.com