Primary celebrates ‘good’ Ofsted but significant failings at fellow trust school

PUBLISHED: 11:58 09 March 2020 | UPDATED: 12:01 09 March 2020

Principal James Grimsby and pupils at North Wootton Academy celebrate good Ofsted report. Picture:

Principal James Grimsby and pupils at North Wootton Academy celebrate good Ofsted report. Picture:

Eastern Multi Academy Trust

A West Norfolk primary is celebrating after receiving a ‘good’ rating in its first Ofsted inspection since becoming an academy, but a fellow trust school has been told it needs to make major improvements.

Emneth was rated as ‘requires improvement’ following an Ofsted  inspection. Picture: Ian BurtEmneth was rated as ‘requires improvement’ following an Ofsted inspection. Picture: Ian Burt

North Wootton Academy was judged 'good' overall, with the school's personal development and leadership being recognised as 'outstanding' following a visit by inspectors on February 11 and 12.

Principal James Grimsby said: "We are delighted with the report's outcome, which correctly identifies us as an ambitious school that works extremely hard to develop well-rounded future citizens for King's Lynn.

"We are particularly pleased that Ofsted highlighted the vision that we have for our pupils and the importance of placing the school's values of 'teamwork' at the centre of everything that we do.

"This marks an extremely positive first step on our journey towards being an outstanding school."

The school, which has 319 pupils, was formed when North Wootton Community School became an academy in 2017. It is now part of the Eastern Multi Academy Trust which has 15 academies and is responsible for educating 5,200 pupils, from primary through to sixth form.

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Meanwhile significant failings have been identified at another of the trust's schools after inspectors said it had experienced "a turbulent time over recent years".

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Emneth Academy was overall rated as 'requires improvement' following an inspection on February 11 and 12.

The Ofsted report stated: "There have been several changes of leadership and many changes of staff. Although things are now improving, the legacy of this upheaval continues to affect pupils.

"For example, development of the curriculum has not been given enough attention over the last few years. As a result, pupils are sometimes bored and lose interest in their learning. Until recently, leaders' expectations of pupils have not been high enough."

When its predecessor school, Emneth Primary School, was last inspected in 2014 it was judged to be 'good' overall. The school became an academy in 2017.

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Barney Rimmer, the recently appointed new academy principal, said: "There are many positives within the report, especially with 'good' gradings in behaviour and attitudes and personal development.

"The areas of development identified by the report we had already recognised as an academy, and working closely with the trust, had already started to address.

"It was particularly pleasing to see the behaviour of the children being recognised by inspectors and the importance that the academy places on the personal development of the children."

Paul Shanks, director of education at Eastern Multi-Academy Trust stated: "We are really positive that Emneth is firmly on the path to at least 'good' next time."

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