School rated 'good' for first time in 25 years

Rob Litten, executive headteacher of New Road Primary & Nursery School in Whittlesey, with pupils and a member of staff.

Rob Litten, executive headteacher of New Road Primary & Nursery School in Whittlesey, with pupils and a member of staff. - Credit: ACTIVE LEARNING TRUST

A Whittlesey school that Ofsted said was 'inadequate' in 2015 has been rated as 'good' for the first time in 25 years. 

New Road Primary & Nursery School, which then climbed to 'requires improvement' in a follow-up inspection in 2017, was rated 'good' in all areas following an Ofsted inspection at the end of November 2021.

The report said pupils are "happy and polite" and that staff are “ambitious for every pupil and what they can achieve”.

It added that "pupils have a clear sense of right and wrong, leaders have developed a well-planned curriculum and pupils love reading".

The youngest children "laugh and squeal with excitement when staff read to them", the inspector added.

The report also said that pupils "behave well and have good attitudes to learning" and that they "know how to keep safe, mentally and physically".

The governance of the school was also praised as being "strong".

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It comes after the school received an inadequate rating in 2015.

At that time, Ofsted said "all groups of pupils are underachieving" and that "the school does not prepare pupils well enough for the next stage of their education".

That report also stated that "leaders and managers, including governors, have failed to hold teaching staff sufficiently to account for weaknesses in teaching and declining standards".

It did however say that the new executive headteacher "has a good understanding of the school’s strengths and weaknesses and has begun to carry out improvements". 

Rob Litten, executive headteacher of New Road Primary & Nursery School, said of the 2021 inspection: ’I am incredibly proud of every member of staff. 

"Each and every one played their part in helping New Road become the amazing school it is today. 

"We are the first team to achieve a 'good' Ofsted rating for the school in its 40-year history. 

"The support from the governing body, the trust and our parents has been incredible. 

"It is a privilege to work with such a dedicated team and an even bigger privilege to provide our pupils with the high-quality education they deserve and should also be proud of.’’

Duncan Ramsey, chief executive officer of Aspire Learning Trust, which runs the school, said “I am so pleased for the community of Whittlesey that New Road Primary and Nursery School has received such a glowing report. 

"It was wonderful to see the praise for staff and leaders and that pupils behave well and have good attitudes to learning. 

"I was especially happy to note that pupils learn to love reading and pupils said they know how to keep physically and mentally happy. 

"Leaders and staff have worked tirelessly to improve the school and they should be very proud with the outcome of this inspection."