Dunkirk Primary School has been praised by Ofsted inspectors for the way it handled its expansion over two sites to accommodate more pupils.

The school took over a second campus in Lenton in 2013 a mile away from its main Highfields campus in Dunkirk and since then has added a further 200 pupils to its register.

Ofsted inspected the primary in April and praised the school leadership for the way it improved outcomes for pupils through a time of rapid expansion and change. The school was judged to be ‘good’.

The report found:

  • The quality of teaching in the school is good, and some teaching enables pupils to make outstanding progress
  • Determined leadership by the head teacher, senior leaders and governors has enabled the school to sustain good and improving outcomes
  • Pupils settle quickly when they arrive at the school, and make good or better progress from their starting points
  • A single learning community is evident across two campuses
  • Governors strongly support the work of senior leaders and challenge them exceptionally well to ensure that pupils get the best possible education
  • Parents express high levels of confidence in the school, its leadership and its staff. Staff form a united team which works very well to ensure pupils achieve their potential

Inspectors added that the school, which was previously rated as Outstanding, needed further time to embed its high standards.

The report stated: “The head teacher has ensured that pupils have sustained good or better progress through a period of rapid expansion and change. She manages the challenges of a continuous adjustment in pupil arrivals and leavers extremely well.”

Commenting on the report, Dunkirk Primary head teacher Jane Alford said: “Governors and staff are very pleased with the inspection outcome at this half-way point of the school’s rapid expansion and the school is exactly where we expected it to be at this stage of its growth across two campuses, some distance apart.”

“We made a choice to expand twice, in order to support the Local Authority’s need to increase the number of primary school places for children and are proud of what we have achieved in such a short time.”

“There are some real strengths that have been acknowledged in the report which affirms the priority the school gives to these and we are proud of the contributions and rapid progress made by all of our children.”

“We know that they receive a high quality education and are at the centre of everything we do.”

Pat Fielding, Director of Education in Nottingham, said: “Dunkirk Primary is an excellent school, which has managed the complex transition to two sites extremely well.”

“This is testament to Jane Alford’s incredible leadership. Jane is retiring as head teacher at the end of this academic year and leaves the school in a very strong position to continue on its journey of success.”

Dr Andrew Bennett, Chair of Governors said: “Governors are pleased with the inspection report which highlights many of the strengths we have at Dunkirk. The school will always strive to be outstanding, but at this stage in our rapid expansion, a rating of good is in itself a fantastic achievement that reflects the hard work and dedication of all our staff.  We would also particularly like to thank all our children and their families for the support they give to the school and the wonderful impression they have clearly made upon the inspection team.”

The full report can be found here: