Bluecoat Primary School is determined to continue improvements

Improvements are well under way at a primary school as a new head and governing body look to boost their Ofsted
rating.

Inspectors visited Bluecoat Primary School in Green Lane, Stamford, early last month.

Their report, released on Monday, gave the school a “requires improvement” grade. But the report gave a positive impression of the school and commended the senior staff on recent efforts to turn results around.

Chairman of governors Mark Kieran said the report was a fair assessment of the school’s situation. He added: “We know where the school is right now but the inspectors had to take a view based on the whole period since the last inspection.

“Within that period we faced some significant turbulence and a lot of very significant challenges arose from that.”

The school’s last inspection was in November, 2010, when it was given a good rating. In the two years following that report the school underwent a period of instability.

Mr Kieran said: “In September the decision was taken to appoint a new headteacher and to strengthen the governing body. That was the turning point and gave us the capability and capacity to get a clear picture of the challenges the school faced.”

The Ofsted report highlighted several areas where the school needed to improve. Inspectors said not all teaching was good enough and pupils leaving in Year 6 did not reach high enough standards in reading, writing and maths.

The report said progress made by all pupils was not yet fast enough to make up for slow progress in previous years.

Children who qualified for the pupil premium, such as those who receive free school meals, did not do as well as other pupils.

And leaders and managers had not improved the quality of teaching and pupils’ improvements fast enough.

But inspectors also found plenty of positives.

The report said children in nursery and reception made at least good and in some cases outstanding progress. The teaching of early years reading skills was good and standards in reading, writing and maths had improved steadily over the last three years.

Inspectors praised the changes implemented by head Carol Hines since her appointment in September last year and said the newly-appointed governors had taken decisive steps to improve the quality of leadership.

The report said the school needed to increase the amount of good or better teaching and raise standards, particularly in Key Stage 2.

Inspectors encouraged subject leaders to pay a more active role in improving standards in English, maths and science.

Mr Keiran said: “We were reassured by the fact that the inspectors didn’t uncover any challenges that we weren’t already aware of. We took encouragement that our approach was right and proper.”