Peterborough primary has Ofsted rating downgraded from Outstanding to Requires Improvement

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A primary school previously rated as ‘Outstanding’ has now been told it ‘Requires Improvement’.

Barnack C of E Primary School had its rated downgraded by Ofsted after its first inspection since 2011.

Barnack C of E Primary School

Barnack C of E Primary School

Inspectors said school leaders and governors had been distracted by a process to become an academy that was never completed. As a result, they did not act swiftly to prevent pupil progress and attendance from declining.

Plans to improve attainment are in place, Ofsted noted, but more needed to be done to monitor how effective these were.

Additional funding was also said to be not having the impact that it should on improving disadvantaged pupils’ outcomes and attendance.

Strengths picked out included pupil behaviour, the range of sporting and physical activities, and the accurate assessment of governors to the areas which need improving.

School headteacher Neil Fowkes said government cuts to its funding and the loss of pupils to private school had “led to us having to make some difficult choices”, but that “we are fortunate to now have our strongest teaching staff for some time, and consequently are seeing signs of real progress within our classrooms”.

He added: “I have worked with the governors to identify what needs to be done, produce a robust plan of action and ensure that funds are available for improvement.

“We are working in partnership with the local authority, our local teaching school and with several other local schools in order to help to accelerate our pace of improvement still further.”

Peterborough City Council regularly highlights the percentage of schools rated ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted.

Jonathan Lewis, council service director for education, said: “The Ofsted report identifies some very clear priorities for improvement which the school is already working hard at addressing. Officers will be monitoring the impact of the school’s improvement plans and are confident that rapid progress will be made.”