St Lawrence’s CE Primary School has moved out of special measures following a two-day Ofsted inspection which rated the school as ‘good’ in three out of five areas.

The inspection found that the behaviour, attitudes and personal development of pupils were all ‘good’ having previously been rated as ‘requires improvement’. The leadership and management of the school was also judged to have improved significantly going from ‘inadequate’ to ‘good’ since the school’s last inspection.

Helen Coles, St Lawrence’s Headteacher, said: “It was a shock to receive the Ofsted call on the first day back after the Christmas holidays. However, the whole inspection process was a really positive one that reflected where we know we are as a school.”

The school has been part of Pathfinder Multi Academy Trust since February 2017 following its previous Ofsted judgement of ‘inadequate’ in 2016 required it to convert to academy status.

“The school has improved significantly in the last couple of years both in the level of learning and how they look after the children.”

Parent at the school

Inspectors praised the work that has gone into improving the school over the past three years saying: “Leaders have reversed the historical culture of low expectations. Leaders have improved pupils’ outcomes considerably in English and mathematics at key stage 1 and 2. The trust has played a crucial role in this through challenging and supporting leaders.”

The school’s improved outcomes were reflected in the summer 2019 SATs with St Lawrence’s coming top in the city for progress in writing in the primary school league tables.

The report also recognised the positive atmosphere in school, the celebration of cultural diversity among pupils and the wealth of clubs and activities available for pupils to explore their talents.

Ofsted gave the school an overall rating of ‘requires improvement’, highlighting aspects of the curriculum and phonics as areas for development to secure a good rating.

Helen Coles, Headteacher, said: “We completely agree with this and have been working on these areas since September. It’s been very encouraging to know the report reflected what we have already identified and are working on as a priority this year.”

Parents were asked to share their views of the school during the inspection which were all very positive. One parent told inspectors: “The school has improved significantly in the last couple of years both in the level of learning and how they look after the children.”

Chair of Governors, Elli Wort, said: “We are so proud of everyone at St Lawrence’s School. This Ofsted report shows how far the school has come in the last few years, and is a testimony to all our hard work. This is a wonderful school – full of caring, considerate and courageous children, staff and families.”

Helen Coles added: “We are now officially out of special measures and well on our way to becoming ‘good’. It is down to all the hard work of the staff and pupils and we could not be prouder of our school.”