Ofsted Inspection of Elmsett CEVCP School, November 2012
Ofsted carried out an inspection of the school on the 8th and 9th November 2012. The report has now been published and you will find a copy attached.
This inspection took place under the new Ofsted Framework. Inspectors now grade four specific areas of school performance: pupil achievement, teaching, pupil behaviour and safety, and leadership and management. Based on these judgements, the inspector then grades the overall effectiveness of the school. The new Framework focuses very strongly on the achievement of pupils and this influences all the other grades apart from “behaviour and safety”. The available grades are: ‘outstanding’ (grade 1), ‘good’ (grade 2), ‘requires improvement’ (grade 3 - which is broadly equivalent to ‘satisfactory’ under the previous Ofsted scheme), and ‘inadequate’ (grade 4).
You will be pleased to read that the inspector was very happy with the ‘behaviour and safety of pupils’ which she graded 2 (‘Good’). Pupils’ “spiritual, moral, social and cultural development” is also good. However, the new criterion for ‘achievement’ is, “Taking account of their different starting points, the proportions of pupils making and exceeding expected progress compare favourably with national figures.” Whilst pupils at Elmsett achieve in line with national expectations not enough of them exceed at this level therefore the inspector was unable to award more than a grade 3 (‘Requires Improvement’). This in turn has led to ‘teaching’, ‘leadership and management’ and ‘overall effectiveness’ also being graded as ‘requiring improvement’.
Within the body of the report, the inspector recognised many of the school’s strengths; pupils are keen to learn, work well together and sustain concentration well, teachers have good relationships with their pupils and manage their behaviour well, pupils say that bullying is rare, pupils enjoy a comprehensive range of additional activities, strong links with the village and the church have benefited both the school and the community.
Although we can’t deny our disappointment with this outcome, we are pleased that the many positive aspects of the school have been reflected in the report, and we are determined to use this valuable feedback from Ofsted to raise our grading to at least ‘good’ at the earliest opportunity. The next inspection must take place within two years, but could be significantly earlier.
Our overriding goal is to ensure all our pupils are able to realise their maximum potential during their time with us, and to this end the school has already begun reviewing teaching and governance to give a sharper focus on progress and achievement. We can also confirm that the local authority is fully committed to providing comprehensive support for the school.
Working in partnership with parents and carers is going to be a key aspect to achieving a successful outcome.
We want to reassure you that the teaching team and governors are united in their determination to use this opportunity to raise outcomes across the board. Your support and involvement is both vital and hugely appreciated, and we look forward to working closely with you to secure the improvements needed.
Chair of Governors