‘Don’t always be fooled by Ofsted ratings’, says head of Rose Hill Primary School, Ipswich

Rose Hill Primary School, Ipswich.

Rose Hill Primary School, Ipswich. - Credit: Gregg Brown

An Ipswich headteacher has told parents to not be “fooled” by Ofsted ratings after defending her primary school following an inspection.

Linda Hatcher took over Rose Hill Primary School after it was condemned by inspectors and placed in special measures in December 2013.

The new headteacher has been “relentless” in achieving wide-ranging improvements, the education watchdog has said, but rated the school as ‘requires improvement’ after an inspection last month. It matched the same overall judgement from March 2015.

But out of the five individual categories, three were rated ‘good’, including leadership, behaviour and early years provision.

Ofsted said overall progress has been “slower than expected” due to challenging “weak” teaching, which has affected science and history lessons at the 305-pupil school in Derby Road.

Mrs Hatcher said: “Don’t always be fooled by an Ofsted rating. There is a lot going on at Rose Hill. The message to parents is come and see for yourself. Come and see their good attitudes to learning. See our improved outcomes.

“We have moved a very long way since our last inspection. Children go on residential visits, visit clubs and exhibited art work at the university recently. We recently took part in a performance at the Corn Exchange. We have got all of those added things that make a school ‘good’.

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“We reached national (standards) in many areas of the curriculum for attainment. We were in line for foundation results last year. We exceed national attainment for phonics, grammar and spelling for key stage two. Our reading is in line with national and our progress measures are in line with national expectations in 2016.”

Asked if an Ofsted rating should only form one part of a school’s reputation, she said: “Absolutely. We have a broad and balanced curriculum, children want to come to school and take part. Our children are a joy here. They are curious, they are a delight, and they are hard-working.

“We have had a significant journey under my leadership. We are moving to an all-round ‘good’ school, and ‘outstanding’ is our ultimate aim.”

The school is due to be inspected again in two years.