Head confident school will 'bounce back'


A headteacher said she was confident her school would “rapidly bounce back” after being told to improve by Ofsted.

Following a two-day inspection, Field Place Infant School, in Nelson Road, was rated ‘requires improvement’ in all areas except the personal development, behaviour and welfare of the children, which was rated ‘good’.

Head Theresa Alford said the school community was “disappointed” with the overall judgement but was pleased that many of Field Place’s strengths had been recognised.

She confirmed her team had been already working on some of the areas highlighted by Ofsted and had “a robust action plan to ensure further progress”.

In her report, which was published on November 15, inspector Linda Jacobs said leaders had an “overgenerous view” of the quality of teaching at Field Place, which she described as “too variable”.

In addition, she said the curriculum for English and maths did not meet the needs of all pupils as they moved through the school, while there were “too few opportunities” for the most able pupils to develop a depth of understanding in maths and writing.

Ms Jacobs recognised that the school had been through a number of staffing changes since its last inspection, in July 2015, and said this had “affected the pace of improvement”.

There were plenty of positive findings in her report. Ms Jacobs said every member of staff and almost all parents she spoke to supported the “dedicated way” in which Mrs Alford had improved the school since her appointment in the summer of 2016.

She noted that provisional results for 2017 showed attainment at the end of Year 2 had risen – including improvements in reading and writing – and was now in line with the national average.

In Year 1, an increasing proportion of pupils reached the expected standard in the phonics screening check.

Ms Jacobs praised the strong culture of safeguarding at the school, and the high standard of care and nurturing received by the children.

As for the youngsters themselves, they were seen to relate to each other well, helping each other both in the classroom and on the playground, and were polite and curious with visitors.

Ms Jacobs said: “Pupils understand the importance of the school’s rules and they do their best to keep to them.”

Mrs Alford said: “Naturally the whole school community was disappointed with the overall judgment of requires improvement, but we were already working on some of the areas identified by Ofsted and have a robust action plan to ensure further progress.

“The local authority is very positive about the school’s response to the report and the actions that are planned.

“The Ofsted report clearly recognises the journey of the school, the much improved outcomes, the work undertaken so far and capacity of the leadership to bring about the required improvements before the next inspection.

“We are confident we can rapidly bounce back to good and better.”

To read the report in full, log on to the Ofsted website.