Academy hits out at Ofsted for ‘unfair’ verdict on York school
An Ofsted report which rated a York primary school as requiring improvement has been branded ‘unfair’.
As YorkMix reported earlier, Osbaldwick Primary Academy was given the rating in a report published this week, following a visit by inspectors last November.
It belongs to the Ebor Academy Trust. Its director of education, Dave Barber, said the Ofsted verdict differed from the trust’s own internal rating, which declared the school as ‘good’.
He said: “We know that Ofsted inspectors are in schools for a short period of time and their views can only ever be a snapshot of what it is really like.
“With 23 schools in our trust we have a lot of experience dealing with Ofsted and some of what they said on this occasion we feel is unfair.
“They were very complimentary about the school in many areas – they said it was a happy school and that behaviour and attitude was good – but we disputed other comments.
“As a trust our aim is always to learn from feedback and ensure that we support our schools to continuously get better.
“The report acknowledged that children are exceptionally well-prepared for the next stage of their education when they leave Osbaldwick to move on to high school.
“However Ofsted’s findings failed to give any weight to outcomes that are consistently above national levels and show positive progress through the school.
“We had initiated a complaint but had decided against pursuing it as the process would be an unwanted distraction so we have accepted the judgement – even though we do not agree with it – and now want to move on.”
Mr Barber also said the report was published “five days before it should have been”.
“The early publication caught us – and parents and carers – by surprise, leading to upset and confusion. We were planning to inform our community before the scheduled publication date.”
‘We have to move on’
Headteacher Matthew Brown said: “The inspection took place in November. When we disputed the overall outcome, the report’s publication was put on hold and we were instructed not to discuss it with anyone, until our concerns had been reviewed.
“Most, not all, of our challenges were ultimately dismissed. However, we thought we don’t need to get involved in arguments.
“We have to draw a line and move on – we know we have a happy school that children like to attend, where they thrive and where parents and carers are content.”
Becki Dean, chair of governors at Osbaldwick Primary Academy said: “Governors are disappointed at the outcome of the Ofsted report, which does not reflect the tremendous improvements that have taken place at Osbaldwick Primary in the last five years.
“However, we remain extremely proud to be a part of this school community and celebrate all the excellent qualities that have been brought out in this report.
“We know, because they tell us, that staff, pupils and families are overwhelmingly positive about the care, nurture and education each child receives.”