School hoped for better things in its latest Ofsted

St Paul's Community Primary School and Nursery 'requires improvement'. SG220213-122TW
St Paul's Community Primary School and Nursery 'requires improvement'. SG220213-122TW
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A Spalding school’s hopes of climbing the Ofsted ladder and being labelled a “good” school have been dashed.

St Paul’s Community Primary and Nursery School is almost back where it started three years ago according to the educational inspectorate and has been put in the “requires improvement” category.

Requires improvement is the new name for “satisfactory” – a level the school hit three years ago.

There is a silver lining to an otherwise gloomy cloud as one of four key measures, behaviour and safety of pupils, is assessed as good.

Ofsted says the other three measures, achievement of pupils, quality of teaching, and leadership and management all require improvement.

St Paul’s is in a far better place than it was in 2006 when it plunged into “special measures”, an Ofsted last chance saloon where schools must improve or close.

Headteacher Heather Beeken, who retires at the end of the summer term, hoped that the school’s recent progress was enough for yet another step up the ladder.

She said: “Although we accept and agree with the overall outcome, the report does not reflect the very positive feedback given to leaders and governors during the inspection, eg ‘I can’t decide if this school is low end good or top end requires improvement’.”

The 2010 report detailed five key improvements needed while the latest has two and Mrs Beeken is confident it will be a “short journey” to good at the next inspection.

One of eight weaknesses highlighted by Ofsted reveals pupils do not always make the progress they should in reading, writing and maths. The remaining seven weaknesses criticise teachers, leaders, management systems and governors. Five strengths are listed including children make good progress in the Early Years Foundation Stage.