Primary school near Leighton Buzzard Requires Improvement according to latest Ofsted

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It was rated Good in 3 categories

High Ash Church of England Primary School in Great Brickhill Requires Improvement according to its latest Ofsted report.

The rating was applied to the Quality of Education and Leadership and Management following an inspection in November. But on a positive the school, previously rated Outstanding, was rated Good for categories including Behaviour and Attitudes, Personal Development and Early Years Provision.

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The report stated that as a result of unforeseen changes in leadership and staff, there had been delays in the school’s required improvements. The school is not currently ensuring all pupils learn well across the full curriculum.

High Ash CE Primary School Requires Improvement, according to its latest Ofsted reportHigh Ash CE Primary School Requires Improvement, according to its latest Ofsted report
High Ash CE Primary School Requires Improvement, according to its latest Ofsted report

The report stated the newly formed leadership team is aware of some of the changes urgently needed and is currently focused on improving pupils’ behaviour and the provision for teaching reading. In these areas, inspectors found newly implemented policies and practices have had a positive impact, and it is evident staff have benefited from focused training.

However, more is required to ensure teaching of other aspects of the school’s curriculum is improved. This includes strengthening the school’s oversight of how well pupils are learning.

The arrangements for safeguarding were also found to be effective but in some subjects, ‘the intended curriculum is not taught effectively’. The report states some

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teachers have not had the required training and support needed to ensure they can deliver the curriculum effectively.

It meant that the way new learning is introduced, and activities provided, did not always build pupils’ knowledge and understanding over time.

But generally pupils enjoy attending ‘this welcoming school’. They are well cared for and build secure relationships with staff with developing pupils’ empathy and resilience a focus of each day. Pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) are fully included in school life.

Pupils behave well at the school. Staff set high expectations. A relentless focus on routines helps pupils to know what is expected of them. Some pupils do report that

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bullying occasionally happens in school. However, they recognise that it is never tolerated. The school reinforces values of tolerance and respect and diversity

is celebrated through the curriculum.

Mrs Kate Goodger, the school’s acting headteacher, said: “Ofsted visited our school in November 2023 and the inspectors found lots of positives, including the behaviour and attitudes of pupils, our work to support pupils’ personal development and our early years provision. Disappointingly, the inspectors believed we need to improve the quality of education and leadership and management, and gave the overall judgement of Requires Improvement.“The inspectors saw that the changes implemented by the new leadership team since September are already having a positive impact. They also recognised that the school’s reduced leadership capacity over 2023 has led to a delay in implementing further changes, but parents should feel confident these improvements are already in place for the spring and summer term as part of an ongoing school development plan.“I am extremely proud of our staff team – our teachers and learning support assistants are passionate and dedicated, and keen to take onboard any suggestions for improvement from Ofsted. We faced many challenges last year, but I believe the team have shown considerable resilience and are still ambitious to improve and continue to do the best we can for our children.”