School criticised by Ofsted feels ‘vindicated’ after ‘good’ church report

Rougham Primary School celebrate SIAMS report.''Picture Mark Westley
Rougham Primary School celebrate SIAMS report.''Picture Mark Westley
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Leaders at a school which was rated ‘inadequate’ in a controversial Ofsted report say they feel vindicated after being judged as ‘good’ in a church inspection.

Rougham Church of England Voluntary Controlled Primary School was praised in the Statutory Inspection of Anglican and Methodist Schools (SIAMS) in May.

It is in stark contrast to an Ofsted inspection in January which rated the school ‘inadequate’.

Governors and parents challenged the report and called for a re-inspection by Ofsted to no avail – but feel the SIAMS report gives a ‘true picture’ of the school.

Headteacher Diane Grimes said: “After our recent Ofsted report, which the school community felt strongly did not reflect our school, we feel vindicated by this inspection.

“The inspector involved us all by thorough, fair questioning which allowed her to get a true picture of what our school is really like.

“We found the inspection a positive learning experience.”

She said the church judgement can usually only be the same as that of Ofsted or potentially a grade higher but the report was scrutinised by the Board of Education at Westminster and the ‘good’ rating upheld.

The SIAMS report found that ‘expected outcomes are good for most groups and targeted intervention is having a positive impact where progress is slower’.

It noted that all parents spoken to were ‘in agreement that their children are challenged in school and make good progress’.

Relationships across the school were ‘very strong, everyone knows they are vauled and this gives pupils the confidence to try new things and to respond to challenges’.

Through its ‘distinctive Christian character, the school is good at meeting the needs of all learners’.

In its last SIAMS inspection in 2012, Rougham Primary was rated ‘outstanding’ and looking at areas to improve, the inspector recommended the school ensured challenge and support was ‘consistent across all groups and subjects so that good progress is consolidated’.

When asked why the school was not re-inspected, an Ofsted spokesman said: “We have fully reviewed the inspection evidence and moderated the school’s judgements. On occasion, Ofsted will return to gather additional evidence where the original inspection is deemed to be incomplete. This was not the case in relation to this school.”