Effingham primary school’s Ofsted rating does not improve for third time



By Dorking Advertiser  |  Posted: November 11, 2014

By Alexander Robertson alexander.robertson@essnmedia.co.uk

CONFIDENT:  Executive head Jonathan Roddick believes improvements are being made at St Lawrence Primary School

CONFIDENT: Executive head Jonathan Roddick believes improvements are being made at St Lawrence Primary School

A SCHOOL in Effingham has assured parents it is still moving in the right direction, despite not improving its Ofsted rating for the third time in a row.

St Lawrence Primary School has been rated as “Requires Improvement” – the second worst rating bestowed by the education watchdog – by inspectors after a two-day visit on September 25 and 26.  The Lower Road school was given the same rating by inspections in 2012 and 2010, with its last “Good” rating coming in 2008.

In her report published last week, lead inspector Joy Considine acknowledged the school had undergone “substantial change” since the last inspection, with the Howard Partnership Trust taking over its management.

The school’s executive head, Jonathan Roddick, told the Advertiser: “Although the overall grade in the new report remains unchanged from the last inspection, it is clear from comments made in the report and discussions held with the Ofsted team that there is significant evidence of the considerable progress the school has made since the Howard Partnership Trust’s involvement at Easter.

“We are pleased to see this reflected in the report. The inspectors acknowledge the main priorities for improvement were already identified and are being addressed by the school’s new leadership in the development plan.”

Mr Roddick and the school’s head teacher, Vanessa Wallden, met with parents on Thursday to share feedback from Ofsted.

During the visit, inspectors observed pupils working in 12 lessons and attended an assembly. They also visited the canteen at lunchtime and observed pupils in the playground.

In Ms Considine’s report, she said pupils were not making enough progress in reading, writing and mathematics and that teaching was “not consistently good”.

However, she praised the new leadership and governors, and said the executive head teacher had made “a rapid start in addressing previous areas of weakness”.

Her report added: “Pupils enjoy school and this is reflected in their improved rates of attendance. They feel safe in school and know adults care for them. Pupils’ behaviour is good.”

Mr Roddick said: “We are proud of how far the school has come in such a short space of time in improving the quality of education for children and how committed staff and parents are to maintaining and developing its strengths.

“As the report comments, inspectors are confident the school is well placed to rapidly improve further, and we are looking forward to continuing with the next phase of development to improve achievement for the children in our care.”