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Surfleet Primary School leaders disagree with 'inadequate' Ofsted grade

Senior staff and governors at Surfleet Primary School have disputed the findings of an Ofsted inspection that has resulted in a "special measures" recommendation.

In a letter to parents and carers provided to the Spalding Guardian, executive head teacher Andrew Raistrick accused inspectors of having "adopted a secondary school lens through which to judge primary schools".

The school was judged to be "inadequate" in three out of five areas inspected over a two-day period in February, with the Ofsted report having been published on Monday.

Surfleet Primary School has been put in 'special measures' after it was judged to be 'inadequate' by Ofsted.(37634984)
Surfleet Primary School has been put in 'special measures' after it was judged to be 'inadequate' by Ofsted.(37634984)

Inspectors found that "pupils do not receive a good standard of education, the curriculum is poorly planned and lacks ambition, leaders have failed to address the poor achievement of pupils over the last three years and governors do not have a secure understanding of the school's weaknesses".

Mr Raistrick, who is also executive head of Pinchbeck East and Spalding Primary Schools which together form the Welland Primary Schools Federation, said: "We have challenged and disputed this outcome because we firmly believe that it does not reflect the educational experience children receive at Surfleet Primary School.

"Along with many school leaders, I believe Ofsted has adopted a secondary school lens through which to judge primary schools.

"All schools, regardless of Ofsted label, are on a continual journey of development.

"Surfleet is no different but we feel that our journey has simply not been recognised or acknowledged."

Schools placed in special measures are either required to become a "sponsored academy" or face further inspections to check on their progress.

Helen Banks, chairman of governors, said: "The governing body shares the obvious disappointment of our staff and parents at this inspection report which we believe fails to properly and accurately reflect the hard work and commitment of teachers and pupils.

"Each term we invite a highly-qualified and experienced outside advisor to each of our schools and we have had regular visits from our County Locality Lead.

"At no time did they raise the issues on which Ofsted have wrongly and unfairly seized.

"Had they done so we would have acted without delay.

"Despite being a small school with limited accommodation we are proud that Surfleet provides a safe and caring learning environment.

"As part of our three-school Federation it benefits from sharing best practice, training and resources.

"I can assure parents and children that our commitment to them remains undimmed."

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