Wilby school ‘not surprised’ by Ofsted grade as it falls from good to requires improvement after inspectors visit in September

The report was published on November 9
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Wilby CE Primary has fallen to requires improvement after Ofsted visited the Church Lane school in September.

It last welcomed a full visit in 2011, and though at the time it retained its good status, the report noted ‘evidence gathered suggests that the inspection grade might not be as high if a full inspection were carried out now.’

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Lynette Dudley, chairman of governors at Wilby CE Primary School, said: “We have continued to build on the school’s strengths since then, which is why there are some lovely findings about the school.

An Ofsted report published this month suggests Wilby CE Primary requires improvementAn Ofsted report published this month suggests Wilby CE Primary requires improvement
An Ofsted report published this month suggests Wilby CE Primary requires improvement

"There also remains a number of areas for improvement in terms of how we bring our ambitious and high expectations to life for our children.

“This is something that we were not surprised by, and Ofsted’s findings mirror our own view of the school.

"Since our new leadership team has been in place, we have worked to tackle these areas with pace and purpose – which is why Ofsted notes that “the school is clear about what it needs to do to improve” and is “resolutely focused on its pupils and their education”.

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“What is needed is more time for these changes to bed in and become part of the DNA of our school.

"As a result, the school received requires improvement for quality of education, personal development and leadership and management. As these are what are called limiting judgements, we were graded as requires improvement overall.”

The report says: “The school has introduced many changes in recent months and has prioritised improvements effectively. However, it has been too early to robustly evaluate the impact these changes have made in some areas. This means they do not yet have a full picture of all the strengths and weaknesses.”

And the report goes on to say: “While school leaders are ambitious for pupils to achieve well, particularly those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) and those who are the most disadvantaged, there is more improvement required to ensure that this ambition is realised.”

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It adds: “The school has a structured curriculum in place. However, in some subjects, the key knowledge that pupils need to know and remember is not made clear enough. The implementation of these subjects is inconsistent.

“Where the school has a clear vision for a subject, the implementation is typically effective, however the school is not checking consistently what pupils know and remember in all subjects. Pupils do not remember some key knowledge that they have been taught.”

Conversely, the report gave credit to Wilby CE Primary for its behaviour and attitudes, saying: “The school has high expectations of pupils’ behaviour. Pupils live up to the school’s expectations. Pupils understand the school rules of ‘be ready, show respect, keep safe’.

"They state that the three stepped approach to managing their behaviour is fair.”

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On this, Lynette Dudley added: “We were delighted that the school was recognised as being good for behaviour and attitudes and our early years provision.

"Inspectors praised our brilliant children, and noted that they ‘behave well,’ are ‘polite and courteous’ and talk ‘passionately about global responsibility’.

Wilby CE Primary has been recommended to move to the vacant site at Glenvale Park in Wellingborough, with North Northants Council set to discuss the matter at an executive meeting this week.

The school believes this could be an opportunity to improve.

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On this, Lynette said: “We have a strong school community and, if agreed by councillors, the move to Glenvale Park strengthens our ability to respond to challenges we are facing.

“Transferring our ethos and values into a setting with so many more educational and pastoral opportunities for our children is a very exciting prospect.”

And she added: “While we wholly understand that this is not the outcome that any of us would hope for our school, we have all the building blocks in place for us to move forward with pace and purpose."

The full findings from Ofsted can be found here.