The headteacher of an Ofsted-criticised infant school says she accepts the evaluation but will do all she can to quickly shake off an unwelcome “requires improvement” tag.

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Alderman Swindell Infant School in Great Yarmouth, considered “outstanding” by a previous inspector in 2008, did not fare so well under the new fault-finding regime which has seen many schools across Norfolk down-graded.

The latest report picks at pupils for their slow progress and at teachers for their target-setting and marking.

It says: “The quality of teaching has not been maintained since the previous inspection. Teachers do not use accurate information about pupils’ attainment when planning lessons. Consequently tasks are not always at an appropriate level to meet the different needs or abilities of pupils.”

On the plus side however the headteacher Alison Hopley knows the 230-pupil school well and has accurately developed the priorities for development.

Elsewhere it is noted that the school has a “strong sense of community” and that pupils behave well, work hard and have positive attitudes towards learning.

Miss Hopley, said she was disappointed with the judgement - effectively the old “satisfactory” - but stressed there were no major weaknesses at the school.

She said it was as if the school had been through a CT scanner and had every part of it probed.

“I take fair criticism,” she said. “But I know in my heart that we are a good school. I am the sort of person who looks at the positive in everything. There is no place for complacency in children’s education. I am not interested in defending anything that can be improved. If someone can point out things we can do even better then we will do them even better. We are passionate about education and committed to this community.

“It is a very different regime that is in place to the one that was in place in 2008 when we were last inspected, so that is where we are - like so many other schools.

“When you look at the criteria they inspect the school against I can only say that they did it by the book and that it was fair process. The results at the end are at or above the national average and the behaviour at the school is really good. The demands of data analysis and progress tracking are very very high and we are addressing that. We are not going to be in “requires improvement” for long.”

8 comments

  • As so many of these useless inspectors do.....they could never hold down a proper job but earn £70k plus paid for by us!!

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    Sportswagon

    Monday, January 13, 2014

  • Well done Ofstead. Keep up the pressure on schools. Someone has to keep demanding better standards for our children. Some people may be happy to settle for average, but alot of parents want better.

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    AA

    Saturday, January 11, 2014

  • WELL SAID Popeye...what a joke this report is and just shows how inept Ofsted has become. The report reads badly, is imprecise and totally at odds with the high results these children achieve overall. Useless, expensive Quango.

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    Sportswagon

    Tuesday, January 14, 2014

  • My child has just started at the nursery here and i have never seen so many children eager to get through the gates when they are unlocked. Surely this speaks volumes over a piece of paper or a grade??!!

    Report this comment

    NJS

    Tuesday, January 14, 2014

  • Teresa Kiely, Lead ofsted inspector, on about £60.000 per year. She was an assistant head in Hounslow in 2004, but it looks like she never made it to headship (her declared ambition), so she jumped ship to a less demanding job. Pity she got this one so wrong, but then she is into emotional learning, that touchy feely stuff that is almost compulsory within the educational intelligentsia.

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    Rhombus

    Sunday, January 12, 2014

  • In a few years time we'll look back on these dark days for education and wonder how we ever let Ofsted destroy this nation's schools. You can almost hear their excuses - 'We were only follow orders.'

    Report this comment

    Ghost

    Saturday, January 11, 2014

  • What a farce Ofsted is ....... how on earth can a school with such great results as this one be graded like this? Yet again one suspects the negative, interfering hand of Westminster is influencing Ofsted judgements in Norfolk.

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    Sportswagon

    Saturday, January 11, 2014

  • This is what Teresa Keily, lead Ofsted Inspector, thought......"pupils make slow progress from their starting points".....surely she means pupils make slow progress, the "from their starting points" is a redundant statement......"and do not always reach the standard they are capable of"......so it could be just one child then?......"teachers do not set accurate targets"......so is the school under targetting or over targetting, a rather imprecise criticism......"the quality of teachers marking is too variable"......so on average it is ok then otherwise you would have said that it wasn't......."staff do not always insist on high quality presentation of pupils work" so that could be a couple of instances then?....."Governors are not fully aware of all the schools weaknesses"......perhaps they thought like us the school was performing well above Norfolk's average......"governors have failed to challenge leaders robustly enough about pupils achievements over time"......Well most governors would have thought this school was doing rather well, and you don' try to fix something that isn't broken. Is this a hatchet job Teresa Kiely, lead Ofsted inspector and ex Assistant Head in a challenged primary school in Hounslow?

    Report this comment

    Rhombus

    Tuesday, January 14, 2014

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