LEADERSHIP turmoil at a primary school has triggered a slip in standards - but parents have 'great faith' in new governors.

That was the consensus from Ofsted after a visit to Carterton Primary School in West Oxfordshire, after which its previous 'good' rating was downgraded to 'requires improvement.'

Ofsted's report, published last week, revealed that the 300-pupil school has split ties from two other nearby schools it had been partnered with.

It had been part of the Carterton Community Schools Federation, of which Gateway Primary School and Carterton Community College are also members, but de-federated and instated a new governing body in January.


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The report stated: "Considerable leadership change including a recent de-federation process have resulted in a decline in standards of teaching and pupils' attainment.

"These changes...have been frustrating for the whole school community.

"Governors have separated the school from the federation, rightly identifying that it had not helped their school to become more effective over time."

The school's head was appointed by the federation in September, but will be leaving at the end of the academic year, Ofsted said.

It noted the quality of teaching, learning and assessment 'has declined over time' and pupils have made less progress than they should have in reading,writing and mathematics.

However, inspectors heaped praise on the new governors, who they said had 'taken swift action to resolve federation and leadership issues.'

The report added: "Governors are ambitious. Their actions have strengthened the school so it is now well-placed to make improvements.

"Parents have great faith in the school and support the governing body's actions and ambition.

"Governors have been courageous in taking action beyond what it is typically the scope of their role. One described their actions as 'bringing the school back to the community.'"


Broken bottles and cans left at Carterton play area

Parents also raved about the school when speaking to Ofsted, with one saying: "The teachers do everything they can for these children and they look after each other so well."

Inspectors wrote: "Pupils are proud to be part of the school and enjoy the many opportunities to take responsibility and influence the decisions that affect them.

"They have excellent attitudes to their learning and enjoy coming to school."

The inspection in March was the first since the previous Ofsted in 2015.

Carterton Primary School was rated 'requires improvement' overall, Ofsted's second-lowest standard, but 'good' in two categories - personal development, behaviour and welfare, and early years provision.

The school is close to RAF Brize Norton and about one third of pupils are from service families.