School gets first Ofsted report

Old Sarum Primary School received their first Ofsted inspection just before Christmas, and the results were published today.

There are some very encouraging views expressed by the inspector, who mentions that “pupils’ behaviour is good in lessons and when at play” also “the school provides a very safe and secure environment for pupils” and “pupils enjoy school“.

To me as a prospective parent, those three statements give me such reassurance about the experience that OldSarumGirl would enjoy if she’s successful in getting a place there.

Sadly, the overall category the school received was “Requires improvement”, rather than “Outstanding” or even “Good”. It should be noted that  however good a school may be, they cannot achieve a high grade in Ofsted until they have three years’ worth of records to prove pupil achievement etc… obviously Old Sarum has not been open long enough to provide that!

Some weaknesses are highlighted in the report, but they are mainly specific to a couple of teaching points in certain years. The only wholesale “failure” was on the part of the original governing body, and they have superseded by the current governors, who are excellent and highly engaged with the school. Head teacher John Jones also comes in for lots of praise, which from all I have heard is well-deserved.

I am sure by the time another Ofsted rolls around, there will be a higher grade for Old Sarum, and in the meantime they seem to be off to a very solid start.

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1 Comment

  1. Ian McL

    It is a pity that some former governors were chosen as the scapegoats in order to deflect the continuing need for improvement. Those governors included me (instrumental in securing the design and build). A former Ofsted Inspector with national education awards and previously chosen by Wilthsire Council to save another school (which she did). the Chief Exec at the time of Salisbury City FC who also happens to be a highly respacted Education finance consultant. A former WC and Salisbury District Council employee who was project savvy and finance savvy. A senior manager at IBM who sorted the website. A doctor, a WC ediucation appeals member, several teachers.

    All the Ofsted issues were raised with WC well over a year ago and much extra support to the teaching management has been in place for that entire time….The report saddens me and gets me scratching my head. Ofsted tell me that they can only use the evidence as presented to their representative.

    Compare that to the Nursery which is a remarkable success story but sadly, disconnected from the school itself, which was not the governors desire.

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