Improvement pledge fulfilled at Whitwell school that 'puts pupils' best interests first'

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A pledge made four years ago to improve a school in the Worksop area has been fulfilled after it earned rich praise from education watchdog, Ofsted.

Whitwell Primary School was rocked in December 2019 when it received a rating from Ofsted of 'Requires Improvement’ after several years of consistently better verdicts.

At the time, the chair of the governing body, Tom Munro, insisted the Southfield Lane school, was well on its way to putting things right. He told parents: “We will work together to develop and refine all subjects.

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"The governors and leaders of the school are confident that the areas for improvement identified will enable us to work towards a rating of ‘Good’ in all aspects of the next inspection.”

Whitwell Primary School, which has leapt from a rating of 'Requires Improvement' to 'Good' in the eyes of education watchdog, Ofsted.Whitwell Primary School, which has leapt from a rating of 'Requires Improvement' to 'Good' in the eyes of education watchdog, Ofsted.
Whitwell Primary School, which has leapt from a rating of 'Requires Improvement' to 'Good' in the eyes of education watchdog, Ofsted.

That next inspection has now happened and, true to Mr Munro’s word, Whitwell Primary’s progress has been rewarded with a terrific set of ratings.

It has been labelled ‘Good’ overall and in two of the five individual categories, covering quality of education and leadership and management. But it has also been judged to be ‘Outstanding’ in three categories, which cover behaviour and attitudes, personal development of pupils and early-years provision.

The verdict is not just a triumph for Mr Munro but also for head teacher Sarah Tomlinson, who was only appointed to her post last April.

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With 248 children, aged three to 11, on its books, Whitwell Primary was described in the inspectors’report as a school that “puts pupils’ best interests first”.

“The school leads with a strong moral focus, underpinned by child-centred values,” the report said. “A calm and purposeful ethos permeates the school. It has improved much since the previous inspection.

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"Overwhelmingly, staff like working at the school. They recognise its inclusive nature in which each pupil is cherished and valued.”

The inspectors found that “pupils are very proud of their school”. “They behave exceedingly well and with maturity,” the report read. “They are welcoming, polite and responsible. They have very positive attitudes and enjoy learning."

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Positive praise came too from parents and carers in feedback relayed to Ofsted. One typical comment was: “Whitwell is a wonderful school with a great community feel”.

The report also revealed that support for pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) “is a real strength” and that early-years children “get off to a fantastic start”.

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