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Head of Burton Church of England Primary School, Alison Trimmings, slams Ofsted downgrade from ‘good’ to ‘requires improvement’

THE head of a primary school downgraded by Ofsted has hit out at the new rating which she says does not reflect the site’s “current position”.

Burton Church of England Primary School was given ‘requires improvement’ after being graded ‘good’ in its previous full inspection in 2016.

The report said leaders lacked the “curricular knowledge” they needed to “lead their subjects to a high standard”.

Burton C of E Primary School was rated ‘good’ before the inspection
Burton C of E Primary School was rated ‘good’ before the inspection

As a result, Ofsted found teachers “do not have the information to build pupils’ understanding successfully”.

However, inspectors did find the behaviour and attitudes of pupils at the school to be “good”, while also praising their personal development and the school’s early years provision.

Managers at the Campbell Road establishment need to “ensure that all subject leaders have the necessary expertise to build pupils’ knowledge towards clearly identified end points”, said Ofsted.

The report also stated that leaders did not have “sufficient oversight of the curriculum”, which meant it was not as “well designed and implemented” as it could be.

“Leaders have begun to develop the curriculum, but this work is in its infancy,” inspectors continued. “Consequently, leaders’ vision for the school is not realised consistently.

However, it was noted that in subjects where leaders’ work is “further along, the curriculum is carefully planned so that pupils learn well over time”.

And inspectors also recognised leaders as having “high expectations for all pupils”.

“However, these expectations are not fully realised,” they continued. “This is because pupils do not benefit from an ambitious curriculum in some subjects.”

The CQC found that pupils were “happy and felt safe” and that the school culture was “inclusive and caring”.

They praised the school values of “reverence, compassion and friendship”, and highlighted the fact that parents and pupils felt “supported” and took part in community initiatives like planting seeds at a local recreation ground.

Teachers also helped the children to “develop a love of reading”, and are quick to identify pupils who are falling behind in the subject.

The inspector also found that pupils with special education needs or disabilities are “well supported”.

A ‘Dolphin room’ has been created at the school where pupils can reflect and focus on work.

Pupils also understood the “importance of equality” and “respect and embrace difference”, said the report.

In a statement, head teacher Alison Trimmings said the school was “naturally very disappointed with the overall grade” but added: “As a school we pride ourselves on passionately caring for the safety and wellbeing of every child and supporting them as individuals.

“We were pleased that the inspection team were able to see the impact of the focus and hard work that has gone into supporting pupil wellbeing and personal development along with children’s behaviour and attitudes - these areas were considered strengths of the school.

“We are naturally very disappointed with the overall grade but we have urged parents to read the report in full and reflect on the many strengths identified within the report as well as areas for development.

“Neither the school nor the local authority feel the overall judgement reflects our current position. It was unfortunate that the inspection came during SATs week which we feel was disruptive for the children and hampered the team’s ability to see the number and range of lessons we would have liked.”

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