Two Nottingham primary schools are celebrating after improving standards so that Ofsted now judges them ‘Good’ again.

Both Cantrell Primary in Bulwell and Seely Primary in Sherwood were previously rated as ‘requiring improvement’ – but new inspections have seen them reach the ‘Good’ standard set by the education watchdog.

The latest improvements mean that the percentage of pupils in Nottingham going to ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’ schools is now above the England average – 86% in Nottingham compared to 85% nationally – as well as above the East Midlands average of 80%.

Cllr Neghat Khan, Portfolio Holder for Early Years, Education and Employment in Nottingham, said: “This is fantastic news – not only for the schools but also for the city as a whole. I’m delighted to see such positive and inspiring reports about these two primaries, especially as schools that were judged to be requiring improvement.

“This is the standard we set for all of our schools; we want every school in Nottingham to be judged ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’ and this is a positive step in the right direction.”

Cantrell Primary School

Inspectors said Cantrell Primary had taken ‘swift and decisive’ action to make improvements since the last inspection. Ofsted praised the school’s leaders for succeeding in raising standards through ‘effective and high-quality improvement planning’.

The school, in Cantrell Road, Bulwell, caters for 491 children aged 2-11 in nursery and primary provision. It was inspected at the beginning of May.

Inspectors said: “The quality of teaching, learning and assessment has improved since the last inspection. The introduction of whole-school approaches and the impact of targeted professional development for staff have ensured that there is consistency across the school.

“Staff have a collective vision to provide pupils with the best possible opportunities to develop their aspirations.”

The report found:

  • The school’s curriculum is designed to provide pupils with experiences outside of their immediate locality
  • Teachers’ subject knowledge is strong and is used to plan learning aimed to inspire pupils
  • Pupils are very understanding of the needs of others. Teachers support pupils well and help them to understand their own mental health needs
  • Pupils’ behaviour in lessons is strong. They are keen to learn and focus well on the tasks they have been set. They work well together and are happy to share ideas with each other
  • The rates of persistent absence have decreased, and rates of attendance are above the national average
  • The proportion of pupils achieving the expected standard in reading, writing and mathematics at the end of key stage 2 has increased and is now similar to the national average.

Commenting on the inspection, Head Teacher Debbie Weaver said: “We are thrilled with the outcome of the inspection. The report is a real testament to the hard work of the staff, pupils, parents and governors. It reflects the amount of effort, energy and commitment we all give to the children of the Cantrell community every day. It is a privilege to work alongside this dedicated team.”

The Cantrell Primary Ofsted report can be found at

Seely Primary School

Inspectors found that the Co-Head Teachers had successfully established a culture of high expectations for all leaders, staff and pupils. Since the last inspection, the quality of education provided by the school and pupils’ outcomes have both improved considerably.

The school, in Perry Road, Sherwood, caters for 569 pupils aged 3-11. It was inspected at the end of April and beginning of May.

Inspectors said: “Throughout the school, behaviour is effectively managed, resulting in good relationships and pupils sustaining good concentration and positive attitudes to learning in classes.

“Pupils in all year groups show consistently positive attitudes to learning. This is having an increasingly positive impact on their academic progress, which is consistently good.”

The report found:

  • Plans for improvement are effective and well thought out
  • Staff training and development are of good quality and result in the quality of teaching and the use of assessment being effective
  • A key reason for the higher standards that are evident throughout the school is the close tracking of pupils’ progress by leaders and teachers. Underachievement is identified at an early stage
  • The curriculums for mathematics and reading are both strong. National assessment results last year indicated that pupils made particularly strong progress in mathematics
  • They are taught fundamental British values, particularly those of tolerance and respect for ways of life that are different from their own. The school’s curriculum and ethos are strongly committed to promoting equality of opportunity and all pupils are valued and treated equally
  • In Early Years provision, a rising proportion of children this year are also on track to exceed the level of development expected by the end of Reception.

Commenting on the inspection, Co-Head Teachers Jacqui Newton and Sally Pearce said: “We pay tribute to our entire team and our supportive school community for sharing our vision and creating a school with a full, rich and varied curriculum.

“We are proud to have raised academic standards whilst holding true to our core vision.  We are thrilled that our inclusive ethos shines through our report and highlights our commitment to meeting the needs of all our Seely children.”

The Seely Primary Ofsted report can be found at