Ixworth school is making improvements after ‘inadequate’ Ofsted rating

Ofsted logo
Ofsted logo

Ixworth CEVC Primary School, which was rated ‘inadequate’ by Ofsted earlier this year, is making improvements in many areas but there is still work to be done.

The school, in Crown Lane, was placed in special measures in February, after an Ofsted inspection found it to be ‘inadequate’ in every aspect except one.

The February report found that safeguarding was ‘ineffective’ and ‘systems for keeping pupils safe are not robust’.

It also found teaching to be inadequate as leaders had not ‘acted swiftly enough to tackle weaknesses in teaching and learning’ and were carrying out lessons and learning activities in several subjects that did not meet the needs of the students.

Inspector Tracy Fielding visited the school again on October 3 for a Section 8 inspection and found that many areas had improved and safeguarding is now ‘effective’.

In a letter to the school, she praised the efforts of the school’s two part-time interim headteachers, Andrew Berry and Louise Clark, who took up leadership in September.

Ms Fielding found that both had ‘worked hard to ensure that arrangements for safeguarding are more rigourous, meet statutory requirements, are fit for purpose, and that the safety and welfare of pupils are of paramount importance’.

She also said that both teachers were fully aware of the amount of work still to be done but are ‘resolute about non-negotiables and heightened expectations for all staff’.

During the inspection, Ms Fielding found that pupils were knowledgable of safety precautions in the school and felt that they could share any worries with the adults in the school and have them dealt with quickly.

She also found that parents believe ‘their children are safe and well-cared for at Ixworth’ and that they believed ‘that safeguarding of their children has improved since the previous inspection’.

However, Ms Fielding judged that ‘staff are not consistently demonstrating that they are aware of their accountability and their safeguarding responsibilities’.

She also outlined areas in which further improvement was needed, stating that leaders should ‘embed further a stronger culture and ethos of safeguarding’ and ‘continue their work to review, establish and implement a secure, formal, foolproof infrastructure of safeguarding and child protection systems that are used effectively by all staff’.

Ms Fielding also advised that ‘governors’ systems and procedures for monitoring and evaluating the new safeguarding systems should continue to be thorough and hold all staff appropriately to account for keeping children and pupils safe’.

The school is due to convert to academy status with the Tilian Partnership multi-academy trust this month.

Mr Berry said: “We are pleased that the inspection recognised the significant work by the staff since September and the progress that has been made to ensure that Ixworth provides effective safeguarding for its pupils.

“The school will continue to build upon this success by focusing on developing the safeguarding culture, procedures and monitoring.

“This work sits alongside the school improvement practices which are being implemented across the setting to address the priorities identified within the inspection report from February.”