We’re still a good school, says Norfolk headteacher

A headteacher has said she still believed hers was a good school – despite getting only a satisfactory rating from inspectors.

Sue Youngs of St Peter and St Paul Primary School, at Carbrooke, near Watton, thinks the site's Ofsted report was swayed by its latest set of exam results.

Following a visit last month, inspectors praised pupils for their good behaviour, positive attitude to learning, and active role in the community.

But the school was given an overall satisfactory grading after they found attainment by year six pupils had recently declined and brighter children were not always challenged enough.

Mrs Youngs said she understood inspectors only had a day-and-a-half in which to make their judgments, but felt they had focused too much on exam results – leading to the school slipping from 'good' in 2008 to 'satisfactory'.

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She said: 'I think the criteria has changed. Now it is much more based on the results the school gets.

'It's much more difficult to be a good school now than it used to be. I still think we are a good school.'

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The headteacher said last year's exam results were unusually low since 50pc of year six pupils were relatively new to the school –something inspectors acknowledged in their report. Between 2009 and 2010, pupil numbers increased from 160 to 186.

The school expects results to pick up again this year.

Inspectors said teachers' subject knowledge was good, but teachers were not monitored enough and good practice was not shared regularly.

But they also acknowledged that youngsters were safe, healthy and more vulnerable pupils were well supported.

The report added: 'Pupils love their school. One said 'We rate it as ten out of ten and I never want to leave here'.'

Feedback from parents was also largely positive with 'a very few parents' expressing concerns about their child's progress.

Mrs Youngs said a number of systems were already in place to ensure the school improved and it had recently been asked by the county council to enter a competition to become an exemplar of good practice on a television programme.

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