Leading by Example …
The Ofsted Compliance Committee at
St Custard’s were confident that their
proposed new dress code for Pupils,
Staff and Governors would unite the
whole school community …
(Outstanding Leadership and Management, 2012 Ofsted evaluation schedule)
Extracts from Ofsted inspections of Outstanding primary schools, from reports published in early 2012, of inspections mainly in January, using the new schedule.
(Also see earlier examples of Outstanding L&M, featuring primary and secondary schools inspected in autumn 2011)
“The main reason for the school’s success is that its leaders have built well on a strong foundation, and there is no hint of complacency. The governing body sets the tone with high expectations, ably supported by school managers. The whole staff works as an effective team, all pulling in the same direction. As a result, morale is high.” Moortown Primary, Leeds (November 2011)
“The headteacher provides inspirational leadership. Supported by a very effective deputy headteacher and an exceptionally knowledgeable governing body, he and the staff have the highest ambitions for the school and its pupils. Leadership is not complacent, systems for rigorous evaluation and analysis are embedded and the school is forward-looking with a clear focus on continuous and ongoing improvement.” Kelsall Primary (Jan 2012)
“The determined and rigorous leadership of the headteacher and governors has secured significant improvements in the school and raised its effectiveness from ‘good’ at the time of the last inspection. ” St Peter’s, Ardingly (Jan 2012)
“Teamwork among staff and members of the governing body is excellent and they are very ambitious for the school. ” North Baddesley Infant School (C2G note: The draft schedule mentioned the school leadership working as a ”team” – the final wording refers to ”leading by example“)
Read more about each of these schools’ Leadership and Management, as described by Ofsted:
Kelsall Primary: Staff and the governing body wholeheartedly share the headteacher’s firm commitment to continuous improvement and his ambition to achieve the best possible outcomes for pupils.
Staff at all levels contribute very effectively to help drive forward improvement initiatives. The school plans appropriate actions for ensuring that pupils’ high attainment is sustained and that their learning and progress are promoted very well. The information gained from regular and rigorous progress reviews is used extremely well to ensure appropriate levels of challenge and support in learning activities. A programme of continuous professional development contributes strongly to the high quality of provision and to very positive outcomes for pupils. The actively involved and exceptionally well-informed governing body challenges and holds the school to account very effectively.
The curriculum is outstanding. It is rich and varied. Subjects are brought together in topics and themes that are interesting, relevant and engaging for pupils. The curriculum is exceptionally well enriched by opportunities for pupils to develop skills in sports and the arts and by valuable and established partnerships with a school in Norway and a school in Liverpool. A range of visitors and visits, including several residential trips, contributes very effectively to promoting pupils’ academic, personal, social, health and citizenship education.
Pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is outstanding and this is largely because of the breadth, interest and wide range of direct experiences that the curriculum provides. For example, partnerships with schools in contrasting settings give pupils an awareness and understanding of what life is like for children whose backgrounds are different from their own, while links with local businesses give them an insight into the world of work.
The school complies very well with statutory requirements for safeguarding through well-managed procedures and through an ongoing review of their effectiveness. Its highly inclusive ethos supports excellent promotion of equal opportunities and access to educational entitlement; discrimination of any kind is not tolerated. (Kelsall)
St Peter’s: The headteacher, senior staff and governors know the school’s strengths and what needs to be refined further very well. Their rigorous monitoring sharply focused self-evaluation, and a track record of employing initiatives to enthuse pupils and treat them all as individuals, have also contributed to pupils’ excellent progress. These factors, and the many developments since the last inspection, illustrate the school’s excellent capacity for continuing its improvement. Leaders are strongly committed to the continuing professional development of all staff and ensure that it is closely related to the school’s development planning. Documentation is impressive and the evaluation of contributions to the school’s work is honest and accurate. The outstanding governing body is fully involved in this process, challenging decisions and requesting explanations where necessary. It holds the school to account in a challenging, but supportive, manner.
Pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is outstanding, contributing to their exceptional behaviour. The school’s curriculum is outstanding. The Early Years classroom area is very well resourced and organised, and the outdoor area is excellent and used very effectively to support learning. Children thoroughly enjoy learning in this outside area. Activities are carefully enhanced by the use of rich language, such as signs and questions, and by linking the tasks carefully to those taking place indoors. This exemplary practice continues right through the school. As one parent observed, reflecting the views of many, ‘St Peter’s has a truly caring staff team who work hard to develop each child and give as many opportunities for different learning experiences as possible.’
Excellent attention is paid by managers at all levels to ensure the highest quality of safeguarding for the pupils. This includes excellent procedures for ensuring the care of pupils through the checks made on all adults who work in the school. Pupils’ safety and well-being are paramount at all times, ensuring that the school is a very safe and supportive place to be. The senior managers, supported well by all staff, are particularly effective in tackling discrimination should it occur and in ensuring equality of opportunity for all pupils and across all aspects of the school’s work. (St Peter’s C of E, Ardingly )
Parish C of E Primary: Highly effective and strategic senior leadership is underpinned by an ethos of care and a relentless determination to pursue constant improvement. Morale is high. Leadership is well distributed throughout the school, with subject, phase and team leaders playing vital and complementary roles in raising ambition, and in monitoring quality of provision and pupils’ progress. Improvement plans consistently provide clear direction and identify actions to address current priorities. Staff are held to account for their performance. Formal and informal support structures are in place to increase the consistency of teaching and to share best practice.
The governing body has recently led a review of school values and vision, and has implemented committee structures aligned to the school improvement plan. A review of roles and responsibilities is underway to ensure that school visits are increasingly focused, that challenge is rigorous and has an impact on outcomes. Although parent governors are accessible to parents and carers, governors do not yet systematically gather or respond to the views of parents and carers. Arrangements to safeguard pupils are secure. Effective steps are taken to ensure the school is a safe, healthy environment and regular checks are made to minimise risk.
Parents and carers are kept regularly informed including through the school website and newsletters. There is an active ‘friends’ association raising funds and adding to the sense of family and school community through activities such as ‘bonfire night’. Community cohesion is promoted well. The school has a sound understanding of its own context, plays a role in the local community and has established relationships with schools further afield and abroad. Staff, pupils and governors have a strong understanding of equality and pupils are supported as necessary to ensure that they all have equal access to the full range of learning and extension activities. Pupils from all groups achieve very well. Partnerships with the church and other agencies, such as the Bromley Business Enterprise and educational psychologists, contribute well to learning and pupils’ well-being. Parish C of E Primary (Jan 2012)
Moortown Primary: The good leadership of the governing body has ensured the development of an exceptionally strong staff team, which is totally committed to ensuring the best for each and every pupil. Some aspects of its leadership are outstanding. These include the appointment of a visionary headteacher, able to move the school forward from its already strong position. The strategic impact of the governing body is exemplified by the deployment of the school’s non-teaching staff to posts where they are highly effective and by the recruitment of teachers with exceptionally high aspirations. Effective mentoring by senior managers for less experienced teachers ensures they are developing their teaching to a good quality.
Accurate and finely-tuned school self-evaluation is used exceptionally well to identify and tackle any discrimination and underachievement. As a result, the outcomes for all groups of pupils are outstanding. However, provision for the youngest children remains satisfactory, unlike other aspects of the school which have improved, often significantly. The governing body has not addressed this as diligently as they have all other improvements to the school. Safeguarding of pupils is outstanding, with the governing body meeting its full legal responsibilities diligently, particularly in relation to the safe recruitment of staff and staff training. The pupils feel particularly safe in this ‘family’ setting, as their parents and carers typically commented.
Partnerships with parents and carers are good. The school’s first class website and use of new technologies enable extremely effective dialogue between home and school. Parents, carers and pupils, especially the older ones, are very positive about these links. Other forms of communication between home and school are good. Outstanding partnerships with other schools and agencies ensure a smooth transition between the different stages of education, especially on to the next key stage. The school’s impact within its local community is outstanding, and it is developing its links further afield. Moortown (November 2011)
Archbishop Runcie First School: The vision and inspirational leadership of the headteacher motivates staff and pupils to give of their best. The drive for excellence is evident throughout the school’s work. Incisive and accurate evaluations inform the school of where improvement is needed and underpin well-targeted development plans.
Leaders and managers at all levels demonstrate the ambition, determination and expertise to continually improve the school. The headteacher, ably supported by the deputy headteacher, shares her clear, ambitious vision by leading through example. Roles and responsibilities are well delegated and teachers’ passion for learning is evident in the high quality of their planning and their skilful development of the curriculum. Excellent teamwork, professional dialogue and sharing good practice are the norm in this vibrant environment where all are learners. This has produced significant improvement to all aspects of provision since the previous inspection. Teaching has developed through careful identification of needs, targeted opportunities for professional development and a focus on ensuring consistency of expectation and practice. The excellent curriculum has been radically developed to give pupils the opportunity to choose the direction of their learning, while teachers’ careful planning provides challenges that bring together all aspects of pupils’ developing skills and knowledge, including their outstanding spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. High standards of attainment have been maintained since the previous inspection, gaps in performance between different groups of pupils have closed and overall achievement is now outstanding. Pupils are exceptionally well- prepared for the next stage in their education. The effectiveness of these developments demonstrates the school’s excellent capacity for further improvement and its very effective promotion of equal opportunities.
The governing body holds the school to account exceptionally well. Its members bring a wide range of expertise and experience to the service of the school and the community. They ensure that school policies are well understood and implemented by all staff, including those for safeguarding. For example, child-protection procedures are exemplary. The needs of all groups are known and very well met so that every pupil has equal access to all the school has to offer. The governing body and staff make excellent links with parents and carers who are high in their praise of how well their children are taught and cared for in school. Links with other schools and organisations are well developed to extend support and the range of expertise available to the school. Archbishop Runcie CofE First School
Broxbourne Primary: The headteacher’s and senior leaders’ thoughtful and inspirational management continue to underpin the success of the school. All decisions for improvement are firmly rooted in what is best for the pupils in their care and the highly accurate evaluation of the school’s strengths and aspects for further development. The rising standards in mathematics from above average to well-above average during the last three years, alongside the maintenance of high standards and very quick rates of progress across the curriculum, indicates the school’s capacity to develop further.
Adults undertake regular training to enhance their skills, with a strong focus on meeting the pupils’ current needs. Governors have an effective knowledge of the strengths and weaknesses of the school and play an important part in determining its strategic direction based on regular monitoring of the school’s effectiveness. They regularly check the school’s vetting arrangements for staff and safeguarding procedures, which are excellent. Policies are comprehensive, training for staff is rigorous and procedures to ensure pupils are protected and supported are highly effective. Broxbourne CofE Primary School
Keyworth Primary School : The headteacher and the senior team lead the school exceptionally well. They have a clear purpose and sense of direction. All staff are highly committed to providing the very best environment and are encouraged to develop their skills and talents for the benefit of the pupils. Careful monitoring of the progress of different groups of pupils ensures equality of opportunity is promoted, discrimination is tackled and every child has an equal chance to succeed.
The school has an open door policy and through effective partnerships, meetings of parents and carers and the use of media resources, communication is excellent and links with parents and carers highly effective. Members of the governing body are supportive of the work of the school, and provide exceptional rigour and challenge. Governors fulfil all of their statutory duties and the school has exemplary safeguarding and risk-assessment procedures which are central to its work and contribute well to the pupils’ feelings of safety and their enjoyment of school. Keyworth Primary School
North Baddesley Infant School The school benefits considerably from the vision and determination of its senior leaders. All staff and members of the governing body are fully involved in monitoring and development, working very successfully together in teams focused on improvement priorities. These are closely linked to staff and governor performance management, which sets challenging goals. The drive for improvement is relentless. It has been highly successful in ensuring that the school, satisfactory three years ago, is now outstanding and provides an excellent capacity for further improvement.
The work of the leaders and managers is considerably supported by excellent systems for tracking pupils’ attainment and progress, developed by the school, and used to exceptionally good effect. For example, the effect of any intervention for a pupil whose progress has slowed is monitored comprehensively and regularly in group and class activities. This helps ensure that all pupils’ equality of opportunity is excellent.
The drive to improve teaching and learning is exceptional and includes peer coaching, lesson observation, work scrutiny and visits to excellent provision elsewhere. This supportive approach has secured the full commitment of staff, who report that they greatly enjoy working at the school and exhibit high quality teaching in a broad range of subjects. Every opportunity is taken to seek parents’, carers’ and pupils’ views with regard to provision and this helps ensure that the school’s self-evaluation is accurate. The school’s outstanding engagement with parents and carers ensures they are very well informed and fully involved in their children’s learning, which brings praise for the leadership and management. Excellent partnerships with other schools, for example in moderating pupils’ work, significantly benefit pupils’ progress. North Baddesley Infant School
(Other outstanding schools ARE available …) See Ofsted criteria for L&M, as published January 2013.