Near two-year battle is over for Long Stratton’s ‘Good’ school

St Mary's C of E Junior Academy in Long Stratton has been rated 'Good' by Ofsted. ANL-161123-164546009
St Mary's C of E Junior Academy in Long Stratton has been rated 'Good' by Ofsted. ANL-161123-164546009
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It’s been a two year battle — but a Long Stratton school can call itself ‘Good’ once again.

St Mary’s Church of England Junior Academy, based in Swan Lane, was inspected in 2014 and was rated ‘Requires Improvement’.

I did feel that the ‘Requires Improvement’ was not right because the leadership here is very good

Alison Cullum, principal

Alison Cullum, principal, said she had concerns during the time of that inspection, and a complaint was lodged with the government watchdog

Ofsted partially upheld the complaint but did not reverse the decision, and a team effort had been underway at the school to get a re-inspection as soon as possible.

And they returned in October, finding the school to be ‘Good’.

“We are delighted to be back to ‘Good’,” said Mrs Cullum. “It has taken a long time but at last we have got our ‘Good’ rating back.

“We were very pleased when they came back and they saw what we wanted them to see, which is a good school.

“I did feel that the ‘Requires Improvement’ was not right because the leadership here is very good.

“The children, teachers, governors, parents, everyone has worked so hard to get Ofsted back here.

“The parents were brilliant, they wrote to Ofsted on behalf of the school because they were unhappy with the ‘Requires Improvement’ rating. They went beyond the call of duty.”

The report found the school to be ‘Good’ in all four key areas, including effectiveness of leadership and management, the quality of teaching, learning and assessment, personal development, behaviour and welfare, and outcomes for pupils.

The report read: “The leaders of the school have a clear vision for school improvement. All their energy and enthusiasm is focused on making sure pupils do their best.

“Teachers are committed to improving their teaching and pupils’ learning. The good-quality work in the pupils’ books in all subjects shows the impact of good teaching and assessment across the school.”

A spokesperson for Ofsted said: “Ofsted considers all complaints about its work very seriously and investigates concerns thoroughly. We can confirm we received a complaint following the school’s previous inspection which was partially upheld. However, the inspection was not deemed to be flawed and no changes were made to the report as a result of the complaint.”