Worthing primary school told it must improve by Ofsted after ‘difficult year’

A Worthing primary school has been told it must improve in its first Ofsted inspection since becoming an academy.

The Laurels Primary School, in Winterbourne Way, converted to an academy operated by the Durrington Multi Academy Trust (DMAT) in January 2018, having been rated ‘Good’ in each of its preceding inspections.

Executive headteacher and chief executive of DMAT, Sue Marooney, said the report’s observations tallied up with the trust’s, which took over more than three years after The Laurels’ last inspection.

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“Upon working together, we knew that there was much that needed addressing and appointing our excellent headteacher Charlotte Bull was a key step to becoming a successful school,” she said.

Charlotte Bull, headteacher at the Laurels Primary School in Durrington.

“The latest Ofsted judgement of requires improvement, which comes just a year into our partnership, and the areas identified for development, are fully in line with those of the trust, headteacher and governors, who are all fully committed to the school’s journey.”

The report, based on an inspection from February 7 to 9, acknowledged the school ‘had been through a difficult time in recent years’, which meant leaders did not ensure pupils made good progress.

Quality of teaching was described as ‘not consistently good’, with subject leaders singled out for not improving the quality and governors for not holding leaders to account.

Some teachers’ expectations of pupils was also deemed to be not high enough, particularly more able students, meaning fewer were working to higher standards at the end of key stage two.

On the plus side, inspectors praised staff’s ‘commitment in tackling the issues identified’ and said recent steps by the school’s leaders was having a positive impact on attainment.

The report also noted that pupil’s behaved well and awarded a ‘Good’ rating in the personal development, behaviour and welfare category.

Charlotte Bull joined the school as headteacher in January 2018, around the same time DMAT took over.

She said: “We are delighted that Ofsted has recognised the significant work and changes put in place since joining DMAT. Having the full support of our community is also incredibly valuable and we are working together to give our children the education they deserve.”

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