A city primary school has improved its rating with Ofsted – meaning that almost nine in every 10 children in Nottingham now attend a school that is ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’.
Henry Whipple Primary in Bestwood was previously rated as ‘Requires Improvement’ – but a new inspection has seen the school reach the ‘Good’ standard set by the education watchdog.
The latest improvement means the percentage of pupils in Nottingham going to ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’ schools is now above the England average – 89% in Nottingham compared to 85% nationally – as well as above the East Midlands average of 80%.
Nottingham’s journey of improvement began six years ago after Ofsted placed six secondary schools into Special Measures. Attendance was also the lowest in the country.
Since that time, schools have been motivated by the vision of the Nottingham City Education Improvement Board and supported by the Nottingham Schools Trust and individual Academy Trust sponsors engaged in school improvement activity across the city.
A drive on school attendance, led by the city council, has also seen huge improvements, with Nottingham reducing overall absence to the same level as the national average for the first time in 12 years, with secondary school attendance now better than the national average.
Cllr Neghat Khan, Portfolio Holder for Early Years, Education and Employment in Nottingham, said: “This is tremendous news for our city. I’m so proud of everyone who has been involved in this journey of improvement. By working together, Nottingham’s schools have shown that they can improve standards and provide our children with the education they deserve.
“In particular, I’m delighted to see such a positive and inspiring report about Henry Whipple. This is the standard we set for all of our schools; we will keep going until every school in Nottingham is judged ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’ and this is a positive step in the right direction.”
Inspectors found that leaders at Henry Whipple have been effective in bringing about improvements, particularly in reading, writing mathematics and in rates of attendance.
The school, in Padstow Road, Bestwood, caters for 229 pupils aged three to 11. It was inspected on 18-19 June.
Inspectors said the leaders, other staff and governors have high expectations of what pupils can achieve. They have a shared vision in which pupils are at the centre of all they do.
The report found: “Leaders have brought about considerable improvements to the quality of teaching of reading, writing and mathematics and to rates of attendance, as well as improving the personal development of pupils. Pupils’ progress from their often low starting points is good and improving.”
The report highlighted:Teachers have good subject knowledge. They plan interesting lessons which motivate pupils.
– The school provides a broad and balanced curriculum that is based on the needs of the pupils
– Attendance is above the national average for all groups
– Pupils’ personal development is a strength. Leaders and other staff help to prepare pupils well for their lives beyond school
– Relationships are positive. There is an ethos of mutual respect. Staff promote pupils’ personal development, welfare and well-being very well
– Pupils are friendly and polite and behave well at all times of the school day
– The positive ethos, encapsulated in the school’s motto ‘Believe, belong, achieve’, is shared by all
– Leaders have brought about considerable improvements to the quality of teaching of reading, writing and mathematics and to rates of attendance, as well as improving the personal development of pupils. Pupils’ progress from their often low starting points is good and improving
– Senior leaders are strengthening leadership roles at all levels. Middle leaders are increasingly effective in their roles to bring about improvements.
– Teachers have good subject knowledge. They plan interesting lessons which motivate pupils
Commenting on the inspection, Head Teacher Cari Burgess said: “We are exceptionally proud of our inspection outcome which reflects the transformational journey of our school in recent years and the hard work, energy and commitment of our staff, children, governors and parents.
“The report recognises our school’s many strengths and we remain committed to ensuring a high quality of education for our children at Henry Whipple Primary both now and in the future.”
The Ofsted report can be found at https://reports.ofsted.gov.uk/provider/21/131017