Worthing primary school rewarded for 'rapid improvement' with new Ofsted rating

A Worthing primary school has been rated as ‘good’ after making significant improvements across the board.

Downsbrook Primary School, part of the Schoolsworks Academy Trust, had previously been rated as inadequate by Ofsted before its academy conversion.

It has now been awarded a ‘good’ rating following a two-day inspection last month.

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School headteacher Just Jeffrey said: "Compared to when the trust first took on leadership, Downsbrook has changed dramatically.

Downsbrook Primary School celebrate 'good' Ofsted result

"I'm delighted that this report validates the incredible efforts and achievement of the school in all areas.

"The past four years have been a wonderful journey and we have come through the most challenging of circumstances - balancing the task of school improvement whilst continuing to lead and serve our community through a pandemic.

"We are now determined to keep moving the school forward to give our children the very best opportunities in all areas. Downsbrook has the most wonderful community of pupils, staff and parents and I would like to thank them all for the parts that they have played in this fantastic and well deserved achievement."

Inspectors noted that the school is well led and has ‘improved immensely’ over the past four years.

They added that the headteacher has ‘galvanised senior leaders and staff’ into making ‘much needed improvements’.

The report added: “Pupils are happy to be part of Downsbrook. They are enthusiastic about their lessons and feel well cared for.

“Pupils behave very well in lessons and around school.

"Pupils feel safe. They understand how to stay safe online. Pupils behave respectfully towards each other and there are strong relationships between pupils and staff. The school is a calm and orderly place.”

There remained some room for improvement.

The report read: “In most subjects, the curriculum is well planned and sequenced [but] in a few subjects, knowledge has not been selected or organised with enough precision.

“Leaders are taking action to further improve the curriculum in these subjects. For this reason, the transition arrangements have been applied.

“Too many disadvantaged pupils are persistently absent. This means that these pupils find it more difficult to catch up with their peers.

"Leaders should review and revise their systems for improving attendance, so that all pupils attend school regularly.

Inspectors were encouraged to see the importance that leaders placed on reading, as well as pupils developing a ‘’deep knowledge of the rights and views of others’.

They also praised teachers who choose books, ‘so that pupils deepen their understanding of equality and diversity’.

Chris Seaton, CEO of Schoolsworks, said: "We are so proud of Mrs Jeffrey and the whole team at Downsbrook for achieving a good judgement from Ofsted at the first inspection after the school joined our trust.

"I would like to thank her and all the staff for their incredible efforts in turning the school around.

"Naturally, this is a significant achievement for Schoolsworks, as it is the first sponsor project we have taken on.

"Many of my colleagues have worked with the school effectively to secure this rapid improvement and it's great that we can show how a strong school trust can benefit schools so effectively."