By Elliot Furniss
Friday, February 8, 2013
A DOZEN schools in Suffolk have been told to “keep up the good work” after undergoing Ofsted interim inspections.
Under its new framework, brought in at the start of the school year, Ofsted is now giving “good” and “outstanding” schools more time between their full inspections.
The standards watchdog is now carrying out interim assessments of schools previously given “good” and “outstanding” ratings and, if standards are found to be being maintained, the next full visit will be deferred for 18 months at least.
The interim assessments are largely paper exercises and look at criteria such as exam results, attendance, parent feedback and pupil progress.
Primary schools including Waldringfield, St Felix in Haverhill, Hadleigh Community, Coupals Community in Haverhill, East Bergholt, Rattlesden, Sproughton, Woolpit and Kingsfleet in Felixstowe have all been given the encouraging feedback.
In Ipswich, St Margaret’s Primary, Henley Primary and Springfield Junior have also all been told they are doing well.
An Ofsted letter sent out to parents of pupils enrolled at the various schools reads: “Schools which are performing well are now inspected less often than other schools. This usually means that good schools are inspected once in five years, whilst schools that require improvement will be inspected between 12 to 24 months after their last inspection.
“Some good schools are inspected after three years; others may have their inspections put back. To help decide whether we can wait longer than three years before undertaking a full inspection of a good school, Her Majesty’s Inspectors look at, and evaluate, various sources of information, as listed below. This is called an ‘interim assessment’.
“I am pleased to inform you that our interim assessment shows that the school’s performance has been sustained and that we can defer its next full inspection.
“As a result, the next full inspection will not take place any earlier than the summer term 2014 unless we receive information in the course of the coming year that causes us to inspect earlier.”
Michael Lynch, head at Springfield Junior School, said: “We know we are doing a good job. It’s good that Ofsted come and tell you that, but we know it anyway. We are working extremely hard, and that’s been recognised by our deferred inspection.
“It’s good to get something positive for Suffolk - 99.9% of staff in schools are doing their best. We are a very big town school and we’ve been given a real ‘thumbs up’ by Ofsted.”