Ofsted inspection 20/21 January 2015
As you will be aware, the school was inspected by Ofsted on 20th and 21st January 2015 and we are writing to share the findings of the inspection team. Our report will be published on the Ofsted website later this week, but before it does, we have made a copy available for parents to view now on our school website: click here. In addition, paper copies of the report can be requested from the school office.
The Ofsted team was very positive about a number of areas of Britannia. The inspectors were particularly impressed with the behaviour and positive attitude to learning of our children. They also said:
- The newly appointed headteacher has a clear understanding of the school’s strengths and weaknesses. She has already introduced effective systems to check how well the school is doing and to hold teachers to account for pupils’ progress… The appointment of a strong deputy headteacher means that she is now well supported… and her drive to raise standards and improve progress has rapidly gained momentum.
- Teachers are keen to improve their practice and say that they really appreciate the increased opportunities for professional training and development that they have been provided with.
- Governance is strong. Governors are very well-informed on pupils’ progress and on the quality of teaching. Governors ensure that arrangements for the performance management of staff are rigorous in holding teachers to account for pupils’ progress.
- Behaviour and safety are good. Pupils attend regularly, enjoy coming to school and treat one another and adults in the school with respect.
- Pupils with special educational needs make good progress owing to high-quality intervention and support.
- This is an inclusive school that fosters good relations within the school and with the local community.
- The primary school sports funding has been used effectively to give pupils access to a wider range of sports and to increase their involvement in competitive team sports. This is contributing well to pupils’ physical development and well-being.
- The curriculum provides opportunities for pupils to develop their understanding of fundamental British values. Older pupils understand that Britain is a democratic society because people vote for the government. They learn tolerance and respect for different cultures and religions.
They also found areas in which we need to improve. These include:
- Improve the quality of teaching so that it is consistently good or outstanding in order to raise standards and the rates of progress for all groups of pupils.
- Leaders’ clear plans for improvement have not yet had time to secure pupils’ good achievement. Some leaders are still developing their skills. As a result, key priorities identified for improvement, especially pupils’ progress in mathematics, have not improved rapidly enough.
- The gap between the performance of disadvantaged pupils and other pupils in the school remains too wide.
- Too few pupils make good progress in reading, writing and mathematics as they move though the school.
Under the new Ofsted framework, Britannia has been judged as ‘Requires Improvement’. It is important to note that current Ofsted information clearly states that a school ‘requiring improvement’ is not a school causing concern. Furthermore, we believe that the school has continued to improve since our last inspection in 2012, particularly under Mrs Longstaff’s headship from September 2014. Plans were already in place, well before the Ofsted inspection, to accelerate our pupils’ progress and improve standards of teaching and learning across school. We are committed to helping all pupils achieve their full potential.
This outcome, under the stricter Ofsted criteria, was expected but we are confident that we have already made great steps towards the grading of Good. There have been many changes since the last Ofsted but as stated in the report, we have a good understanding of the school’s current position and where it needs to go next. This view has been supported by the local authority. The Ofsted team engaged very positively with us, they validated our self-evaluation judgements and our school improvement planning.
We were pleased that the inspectors found evidence that strong, well thought-through plans, were already in place to ensure that all pupils make the progress they should. Ofsted commented: “The newly appointed headteacher has already had a significant impact on improving the school. While plans have not yet had time to ensure that this is a good school, there have been improvements in the quality of teaching.”
We would encourage you to read the full report which is on our school website. You will find many positives within the report; our school continues to improve. The inspection is very much ‘data led’ and you may feel, as you read the report, that the individual character of Britannia has been missed. For example, there is no mention of all the extra-curricular work we do and no mention of our work with the local community. Whilst these elements do not necessarily improve achievement and attainment, we know that they can have a real impact on children’s self-esteem and self-worth and are an integral part of our school values.
Finally, on behalf of the governing body, I would like to thank everyone involved in the inspection for their contribution: the children who were a credit to the school in everything they did; the staff for their hardwork and professionalism; and all the parents and carers who made their views clear through conversations with inspectors and the online ParentView survey.
Should you wish to discuss the report or our improvement plans, please contact us through the school office.
Mrs Debbie Wroe, Chair of Governors
Mrs Natalie Longstaff, Headteacher