What happened on 9 June 2014? That was the day Ofsted published the much-leaked “Trojan Horse” reports.
But other reports were also published on 9 June and most did not receive national publicity.
But one did. The Great Yarmouth Primary Academy (GYPA), which was supposedly turned round from Inadequate to Good in just two years, was praised in the Mail
. The Department for Education (DfE) and schools minister Liz Truss tweeted the result as a “brilliant example”.
But the turnaround had begun in 2011 and the school was judged Satisfactory by Ofsted just a few weeks after the present head, Bill Holledge, took over. Inspectors said the removal from Special Measures was because of the “extraordinary work” done by the previous County headteacher, Mrs Beverley Hall (see here).
Nevertheless, Ofsted has now judged GYPA to be one grade up from Satisfactory. And the Mail
said it was because GYPA had introduced a compulsory longer day for older pupils.
But at least 18 other primary schools previously judged Satisfactory/Requires Improvement or worse were judged Good or Better in reports published on 9 June.
The three most-improved were:
Bourne Westfield Primary Academy, Lincolnshire,
previously Requires Improvement. It is now Outstanding in all four categories. Despite being a converter academy, the school uses the expertise of the local authority (LA) to ensure the school’s own assessment is in line with national standards. It buys in LA services including training which is “highly valued” by the staff. The academy works with other schools to share expertise.
St Clement’s CofE Academy, Birmingham
, previously Inadequate, is now Good. It works closely with its sponsor DBET which is “passionate” about the school.
White Hall Academy (was Coppins Green Primary), Essex
. The previous school was judged Inadequate. Now it is Good. The academy sponsor, Lyons Hall Primary School, provides strong support. The LA provided good assistance to the academy in its early days and continues to supply light touch oversight and encouragement.
These 15 schools rose from Satisfactory/Requires Improvement to Good:
Admirals Academy (was Admirals Junior School) Norfolk
Broomgrove Junior School, Colchester
Coverdale CofE, Shropshire
Edgebury Primary School, Bromley
Fairfield Community Primary School, Lancashire
Hollymount School, Raynes Park, London
Kingsway Primary School, Leicester
Mason Moor Primary School, Southampton
Mayport CofE Junior, Cumbria
Riverside Academy (was Newbold Riverside Primary), Warwickshire
St George’s Lower School , Bedfordshire
St John Fisher, a Catholic Voluntary Academy, Derbyshire
St Joseph’s Catholic and CofE (VA), Staveley
Victoria Lane Academy (was Coundon Primary), County Durham
Winyates Primary School, Peterborough.
Not one of these schools has introduced a mandatory longer day for any pupils. But a common thread, apart from the quality of teaching, was the support given by academy sponsors or local authorities, sometimes both.
All 18 are “brilliant examples”. They equally deserve praise. Unfortunately, the DfE’s tendency to promote only its favoured schools detracts from the good work being done in thousands of other schools.
NOTE: Apologies if I’ve missed other schools whose reports appeared on 9 June which improved from Requires Improvement/Satisfactory or worse to Good or Better. If omitted schools let me know, I’ll add them to the roll of honour.
All Ofsted primary school reports published on 9 June 2014 are available here