Ofsted praises “ambitious vision” as school moves out of special measures

This story was published 24 September 2021

A rural North Yorkshire primary school has moved out of special measures following an Ofsted inspection which praised recent improvements and the headteacher’s “clear and ambitious vision for all pupils”.

Stillington Primary school

School leaders at Stillington Primary School, near Easingwold, say the school is continuing on an upwards trajectory after the strength of its leadership and collaboration with other schools was recognised by the schools inspectorate.

Following an Ofsted inspection in June this year, the inspectorate moved the school’s overall rating from Special Measures, to Requires Improvement, with behaviour and attitudes, leadership, management and Early Years’ provision all rated Good.

The Ofsted report stated: “The executive Headteacher has a clear and ambitious vision for all pupils. The recent and significant changes to leadership within the school are positive. Staff and pupils are benefiting from the support and direction provided by leaders from the federation of Foston and Terrington primary schools.

“Leaders are addressing school improvement priorities in an effective and decisive manner. Teacher knowledge and subject expertise are being strengthened as a result of the joint collaboration provided.”

The report went on to note that the “new approach to the curriculum is beginning to have a positive impact” and added: “Parents have confidence and trust in the new leadership of the school. They are appreciative of recent improvements and all those who made their views known would recommend the school.”

The report also stated that bullying was rare and children had good levels of wellbeing, stating: “Pupils are happy in this warm and welcoming school. They enjoy coming to school and attend regularly. Key Stage 2 pupils appreciate the daily wellbeing check-in.”

Two years ago the school had been in danger of closing, with just 19 pupils, but has now increased the number of children on its roll to 30.

Chair of Governors, Corinne Cross, said: “To have moved out of special measures – all while tackling the added pressures bought by the pandemic and Covid - is an exceptional achievement by the school.

“We are delighted that we have progressed so quickly, but we intend to waste no time in building on that success. For us it is just the beginning.

“We will be continuing our successful collaboration with Terrington and Foston primary schools and continue to implement what Ofsted recognised was a “clear and ambitious vision” for all pupils.”

The County Council’s Assistant Director for Education and Skills, Amanda Newbold, said: “We are delighted to see the improvements made at Stillington Primary School, especially while dealing with the challenges brought about by the pandemic.

“I’d like to thank to school leaders at Stillington, as well as staff from the Foston and Terrington schools federation. We will continue to work with the school as they continue on their path towards ever higher standards and achievements.”