School first in county to receive new Ofsted rating

St Mary’s primary school’s new headteacher Kathryn Crawford, with, left to right, Stanley Lemon, Alex Owen, Kajus Ringys and Jacob Wright

St Mary’s primary school’s new headteacher Kathryn Crawford, with, left to right, Stanley Lemon, Alex Owen, Kajus Ringys and Jacob Wright Buy this photo

First published in News Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by

A BANBURY primary school has become the first in the county to be given the ‘requires improvement’ rating by education inspectors Ofsted.

Up until the end of the last academic year, schools could be judged outstanding, good, satisfactory or inadequate.

Now satisfactory has been thrown out and replaced by ‘requires improvement’, meaning schools so judged will have another full inspection within two years and given a list of things to be done to improve further.

St Mary’s Primary School, Southam Road, Banbury, is the first Oxfordshire school to receive the judgment.

Headteacher Kathryn Crawford said: “It wasn’t a surprise to be in that category. I joined the school a year ago after a period of uncertainty for the school because of changes in leadership over the last few years and we now have a very stable leadership team with a clear capacity to improve.

“When I arrived, one of the first things we did was to identify what the needs of the school were and what the strengths were, and also identify the areas where we need to improve.

“So we were already working on and addressing many of the issues which had been identified.”

The school was told pupils did not make consistently good progress and teaching was not good enough.

Related links

Writing, maths and marking were also highlighted as areas for improvement.

But inspector James Henry said Miss Crawford and other senior leaders had brought stability and drive to the school.

He said: “They understand what the school does well and what needs to improve.

“Changes are being made to move the school forward.”

Miss Crawford described the report as a positive thing and pointed out there was now no inadequate teaching.

Shortcomings in the foundation stage had also been addressed, with the school investing £25,000 to revamp the indoor and outdoor facilities for the youngest pupils.

Behaviour and safety of pupils was given a good rating. Key Stage 1 and 2 SATs results were also at a four-year high.

When the school was last inspected, it was satisfactory.

Miss Crawford said: “I’m not saying that at this point everything is wonderful and everything is perfect, otherwise we would have had a good or outstanding judgment, but the school is moving in the right direction and making improvements continuously.”

Cabinet member for education Melinda Tilley welcomed the new Ofsted rating.

Ms Tilley said: “This new category places the emphasis on schools moving forward and improving rather than staying the same.”

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree