Chetwynd celebrates extraordinary Ofsted

Chetwynd Primary Academy is celebrating after an Ofsted short inspection described as “an extraordinary achievement.”

Short inspections are held in schools previously rated as ‘good’ by Ofsted. Rather than full inspection by a team of Ofsted Inspectors, short inspections take place over a single day and are designed to test if the school is maintaining its status as a good school.

If short inspection suggests that standards have not been maintained in school, inspectors have the power to convert the process to a full ‘section 5’ review.

Conversely, if the Inspector concludes that a school is on the journey to ‘outstanding’ education, they may recommend that the next scheduled review be upgraded to a full inspection within 1-2 years. Full inspection is the only route through which a school may be judged to be outstanding.

The recommendation made at Chetwynd followed this path, with the school found to have moved beyond ‘good’ to demonstrate “strong practice and marked improvements in specific areas. This may indicate that the school has improved significantly overall.”

Inspector Aune Turkson-Jones concluded “Therefore, I am recommending that the school’s next inspection will be a full section 5 inspection.”

Chetwynd may now request early re-inspection. A request for early reassessment is the mechanism by which school leaders are able to show they are confident school practice is already reaching the standard for ‘outstanding.’

For now, Principal Lorraine Tonks is more than happy with an inspection result suggesting that the school is ‘better than good.’

Mrs Tonks said: “We are absolutely delighted with the results of our short inspection. Teachers, parents and children at Chetwynd all feel very strongly that this is a great school – on inspection day we had a queue of parents and governors waiting to tell inspectors how much they value the school. That same sense of pride and community involvement is woven through every paragraph of the report – we can’t wait to share it!”

The inspection report is published here and is highly complementary throughout.

The quality of leadership was identified as a strength, with the leadership team said to be “passionate about raising academic achievements and providing children with a supportive and friendly environment in which to develop. A notable strength of the school is pupils’ positive enthusiasm for learning… Parents and carers speak highly of your inspirational leadership and value the high-quality nurture and support which lie at the heart of your school.

“Parents comment on how hardworking the teachers are and openly express their pride in the ‘excellent quality of education’ which the school offers.”

Inspection concentrated on the joy that Chetwynd pupils take in learning, and the creative, positive spirit that the school brings to learning.

“Pupils are excited by the new curriculum and the opportunities which you have created to extend their learning outside the classroom.”

The Spencer Academies Trust also came in for praise with the report indicating, ‘ Governors and trust leaders have an insightful understanding of the school’.  Spencer Academies Trust Chief Executive Paul West said: “the inspection report is an extraordinary achievement for Lorraine and her team. Chetwynd is a wonderful, warm primary school, and the report shows hard the teaching and support staff in school work for all of their pupils, including pupil premium children and local army families; and with the result that attainment and progress are above national averages across the board.

“Schools don’t always look forward to Ofsted inspection. Chetwynd is one school where they are now very keen to see inspectors back – and for the school to be recognised as having completed the journey to outstanding education.”