The 'inadequate' Surrey schools working towards improving for pupils

The plans will increase school capacity in Kettering, Wellingborough and East Northants.
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Ofsted inspectors visit hundreds of schools across the country every week, their role is to help raise education standards. Schools are ranked on a range of criteria and can be rated, outstanding, good, requires improvement or inadequate.

Inspections are carried out by observing lessons, academic data, and analysing previous reports. Inspectors also look school leadership, complaints raised about the school and how well rounded students are.

In Surrey three schools are currently rated inadequate, which means they will be inspected more regularly and inspectors will work closely with them to improve. Leadership teams and staff will be tasked with improving areas of concern raised by inspectors.


Schools are rated on four key areas quality of education, behaviour and attitudes, personal development and leadership and management, plus early years provision and sixth form provision where relevant. As part of changes introduced in May, to ensure parents see a more rounded picture of a school at a glance, all sub-judgements and overall effectiveness grade will be now be displayed on Ofsted's website.

Rankings from the Ofsted website were correct at the time of publication. Further inspections and re-inspections may have taken place that have not yet been published by Ofsted.

The schools rated inadequately in Surrey are as follows:

Wemms Educational Centre

Woodstock Lane North, Long Ditton, Surrey, KT6 5HN

Wemms is listed as an alternative school, costing £53,500 per annum for children who are deemed vulnerable in mainstream education. The school takes in children who have refused to go to school, or have been bullied before and have dropped out.

The school was rated inadequate in May 2023, and has since had further inspections to monitor progress. Main areas of concern surrounded behaviours and attitudes of students, and how staff dealt with it.

Personal development of pupils and leadership and management was also an area of concern for inspectors. The school was deemed unsafe for pupils, however actions have been taken to work on this.

A new safeguard lead was been introduced in September 2023, and the team has since been expanded. There is a new policy on the school website, and a proprietor body has ensured it is updated annually.

Previously some pupils were fearful of bullying, racial and homophobic abuse as well as sexualised language. A new behaviour policy has been introduced, and teachers are now better at understanding the pupils needs.

Despite the Ofsted feedback, the school has a plethora of positive reviews on Google. One parent wrote: “Wemms does amazing things for those struggling with their education and has hugely helped my son secure his GCSEs and move on to A-levels. The school has recently moved to a spectacular new location with massive grounds as these photos show!”

Another said: “My daughter started at Wemms this September and it has made such a difference to her (and us as a family) already. She wants to get up and go to school. She’s excited to be there. She is participating in lessons, (most of the time) making friends, likes her teachers (most of the time) and tells me about her days. The staff have been fantastic at supporting her transition, getting to know her and helping her settle…..and this is just the beginning of our Wemms journey!”

A spokesperson for the school said: “The Ofsted monitoring report in February recognised the progress the school has made in many areas since the last inspection. This has been the result of hard work and dedication of staff.

“Parents have also provided positive feedback about the changes they have seen in recent months. We recognise that we have more to do but we are working hard to make sure we address the issues raised and ensure we provide the highest quality education to the children who attend Wemms.”

You can find all Ofsted reports for the school here

Wyke Primary Academy

School Lane, Normandy, Guildford, GU3 2HS

Wyke Primary Academy in Guildford, is part of the Kite Academy Trust, a charitable company. Inspectors raised concerns over its quality of education, leadership and management and early years provision when it was rated inadequate in September 2022.

School leaders have since been taking steps to improve. The last visit was in March 2023, highlighting how the school’s focus on expectations on leaders has increased and the capacity to improve has increased.

The inspectors said staff are collaborating on curriculums and are prioritising early reading. Overall the school as a whole is working on making the curriculum more coherent for pupils.

Safeguarding at the school has been improved, and pupils feel safe at school. Leaders now have in depth knowledge on pupils, who know how to report worries to staff.

One paragraph reads: “Parents are overwhelmingly positive and the vast majority would recommend the school. However, a very small minority are less positive. You and trust leaders know that engaging parents in productive partnerships is essential. You have taken steps to communicate with parents more effectively, for instance about the progress in making improvements to safeguarding.”

SurreyLive has contacted Wyke Primary Academy for comment.

Quality of education: Inadequate

Behaviour and attitudes: Good

Personal development: Good

Leadership and management: Inadequate

Early Years provision: Inadequate

You can find the school's Ofsted reports here

Grafham Grange School

Grafham Grange, Grafham, Bramley, near Guildford GU5 0LH

Grafham Grange School caters for pupils aged between 10 and 16 years old with social, emotional and mental health needs. Parents might choose the school if their child has speech, language and social communication needs, ADHD, oppositional defiant disorder or conduct disorder.

The school is run by the Orchard Hill Academy College Trust, which according to its website, is an outstanding Ofsted provider. Grafham Grande was rated inadequate by inspectors in March 2024.

Overall it was ranked inadequate for quality of education and behaviour and attitudes. It also required development in personal development, leadership and management.

A main concern in the report highlights: “pupils’ experiences in lessons are poor because they do not learn what they need to. Lessons are not productive places of learning as learning activities are not matched to pupils’ special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND)."

Most pupils are frequently absent, and support is not effective. When they are in school, absence from lessons is “too easily accepted” and some pupils take it as an opportunity for social gathering.

Staff are positive about recent changes in the leadership team and recognise there is a different in daily experiences. Dysregulated behaviour has been managed well and there are less incidents of physically challenging behaviour.

A spokesperson for Orchard Hill College Academy Trust (OHCAT) said: “We acknowledge that there are improvements that must be made at Grafham Grange School, and an accountable and robust model is in place to ensure that students receive a high-quality education and that their families feel supported. OHCAT Deputy CEO, Laurie Cornwell, will temporarily lead the school whilst a permanent Principal is recruited.

“Laurie has extensive experience and expertise as a Headteacher and senior leader in schools for pupils with complex needs. Grafham Grange School will be fully supported by OHCAT’s skilled, senior leaders in order to secure immediate improvements and to ensure that the school is in the best possible place for a successful future.”

Quality of education: Inadequate

Behaviour and attitudes: Inadequate

Personal development: Requires improvement

Leadership and management: Requires improvement

You can find the school's Ofsted reports here

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