Support for Harrogate school after Ofsted inspection

NADV 1310295AM2 Western Primary School. (1310295AM2)
NADV 1310295AM2 Western Primary School. (1310295AM2)

The headteacher of Western Primary School has vowed to dramatically improve its Ofsted rating, after inspectors told staff and parents the Cold Bath Road school ‘requires improvement.’

Cheryl Smith received the report, which showed the school’s rating fall from its 2011 rating of Good with outstanding features to Requiring Improvement, despite positive feedback from parents and pupils.

The school, with a roll of 482 pupils, has been told it must improve the achievement of pupils, quality of teaching and leadership and management, however, the behaviour and safety of pupils was rated as Good.

The headteacher said: “We are disappointed that the positive feedback received from Ofsted Inspectors on the overall success and ethos of the school was not reflected in the grade.

“Going forward, we shall work to address the data that is required under the new Ofsted framework, and are committed to getting the school to an outstanding Ofsted rating.”

Inspectors visited the school between October 1 and 2, and reported that the effectiveness and efficiency of the school’s leadership, including governance, must improve.

Parent Helen Riley backed the school.

She said: “Ofsted have changed their criteria and because of the change Western has been marked down but I have absolute confidence in the school.

“I have a daughter in Year 6 and a son in Year 4, and both are making progress.

“My two children are really happy, they love the teachers and try a variety of subjects.

“I don’t think Western have changed their teaching. Ofsted have changed their report, and you can take anything down if you change the criteria. I am not alarmed by the report at all.”

The new Ofsted framework determines progress based upon Year 6 SAT attainment.

A Western statement read: “Whilst the school’s results in these tests over the last three years were higher generally than the national average, this was not the case for all groups and it is not possible to achieve a Good grade in these circumstances.”

Chair of Governors Teresa Brooke said: “Western children are confident individuals who develop and thrive on a love of learning.

“We are extremely proud of the standards and culture of the school.

“The Governors are unanimous in their confidence and support for Mrs Smith and her excellent staff.”

Parents were able to fill in an online survey as part of the inspection.