‘Why were we not rated good?’ asks surprised head

A HEAD teacher has expressed ‘surprise’ at OFSTED’s judgement not to award his school a ‘good’ rating – despite what he felt was a largely strong report.

Peter Neale, of West Park CE First and Middle School, said he was disappointed the school did not get a chance to discuss inspectors’ concerns over teaching quality and pupil achievement.

The school was rated ‘good’ in two key areas, with two being judged as ‘needs improvement’.

The lowest grading forms the overall rating.

Mr Neale said: “Although the report acknowledges continued improvements in teaching, they still feel some improvements are needed.

“However, we have strong evidence that both of these areas are good.

“We didn’t feel we had an opportunity to give them any further evidence.”

OFSTED praised the leadership team’s strength in bringing improvement to the school, as well as the behaviour and enthusiasm of pupils.

But it said teaching was ‘not yet securely good’ across the school, with it not ensuring fast enough progress to raise attainment further.

Mr Neale said: “One the one hand, they said leadership is good, so if it is that good, why are we not being judged as good?

“That aside, the areas they picked up on are already identified in our school improvement plan and we will continue to work on those points.”

Inspectors observed 33 lessons, gathered views of 87 parents and carers and attended assemblies.

Mr Neale said he was pleased with observations that the school had a ‘happy, welcoming and inclusive community’, and reassured parents that the school was delivering a strong service.

He said: “We are pleased with the many strengths and positives that were highlighted.

“In a letter to parents, we pointed out these comments which recognise we have improved since the last report.”