'Inadequate' school joins academy trust

St Benet’s Trust chief executive officer Richard Cranmer and Garboldisham Church Primary Academy head teacher Julia Humphrey.

St Benet’s Trust chief executive officer Richard Cranmer and Garboldisham Church Primary Academy head teacher Julia Humphrey. - Credit: Newman Associates PR

A village primary school found to be inadequate in an Ofsted report that said pupils received poor quality of education has joined a multi-academy trust. 

Garboldisham Church Primary Academy has become the eighth school to join the Diocese of Norwich’s St Benet’s Multi Academy Trust, which has a growing family of academies across south Norfolk.

The school said the move would bring opportunities for collaboration, as well as helping improve the quality of its teaching.

It joins fellow St Benet’s Trust members Archbishop Sancroft High School and Harleston Primary Academy, Diss Infant and Junior academies, Dickleburgh Primary Academy and Newton Flotman Primary Academy, which joined the trust earlier this month.

“For small village schools such as ours, the ability to enhance the education of our children through joint activities such as writing programmes, trips and visits is a great advantage – as is the chance for our staff to share ideas with their colleagues in the trust’s other schools,” said headteacher Julia Humphrey.

“We are in the middle of a school improvement journey, and St Benet’s will provide significant support as we seek to raise the standards of our teaching and learning.”

New pupils at Garboldisham Church Primary School in 2018. Picture: Steve Adams

New pupils at Garboldisham Church Primary School in 2018. - Credit: Archant

The Ofsted report, published last January following an inspection to the school under its previous guise of Garboldisham Church Primary, said the overall quality of education, leadership and management and early years provision were 'inadequate'.

Inspectors did identify strengths including pupils saying that bullying is rare and that parents liked the "warm family atmosphere of the school where every pupil is known".

But they found curriculum plans at the school, which is fully subscribed with 109 pupils, had little structure and coherence meaning children "do not learn as well or as much as they should".

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Chief executive officer of St Benet’s Trust, Richard Cranmer, said: “This is a very attractive, popular village school. It has had some difficult times, but parents have shown an amazing loyalty to and pride in the school. 

“Our aim is to support the school and its head teacher in their commitment to driving up standards, while maintaining the ethos which is so valued by children, parents and staff.”

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