Rural North Yorkshire primary school taken out of special measures thanks to 'clear and ambitious vision'

A rural school in North Yorkshire has moved out of special measures after an Ofsted inspection praised its leadership, saying it had a “clear and ambitious vision” for its pupils.

Stillington Primary School

Leaders at Stillington Primary School, near Easingwold, said it was continuing on an upwards trajectory after the strength of its leadership and collaboration with other schools in Terrington and Foston was recognised by the education watchdog.

Following an inspection in June, Ofsted moved the school’s overall rating from special measures to requires improvement, with pupils’ behaviour, staff leadership, management and Early Years provision all rated good.

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The Ofsted report said staff were addressing priorities in an “effective and decisive manner” and teachers’ knowledge was being strengthened through the collaboration.

It was rated as 'good' for behaviour and attitudes, leadership and management and early years provision. However, it still requires improvement in the quality of education and personal development.

The Ofsted report, published on September 24, said: "Pupils are happy in this warm and welcoming school. They enjoy coming to school and attend regularly. Key stage 2 pupils appreciate the daily well-being check-in. They are unafraid to ask their teachers for help or support.

"Pupils feel safe. They say that bullying is rare and their teachers and parents agree. Pupils are confident if there are any instances of poor behaviour or bullying, leaders will sort it out."

However, highlighting where the school needs to improve, the report said the content of the curriculum is not as well organised as it should be, and pupils have gaps in their social and emotional development.

It said: "Leaders need to identify and sequence the essential knowledge, skills and key vocabulary that pupils should learn at different stages so that they achieve well.

"Leaders need to establish and implement a detailed programme for pupils’ personal development that ensures they acquire a good range of knowledge, skills and understanding over time and prepares them well for the next stage in their education."

Chair of Governors, Corinne Cross, said: “To have moved out of special measures – all while tackling the added pressures bought by the pandemic and Covid - is an exceptional achievement by the school.

“We are delighted that we have progressed so quickly, but we intend to waste no time in building on that success. For us it is just the beginning.

“We will be continuing our successful collaboration with Terrington and Foston primary schools and continue to implement what Ofsted recognised was a “clear and ambitious vision” for all pupils.”

North Yorkshire County Council’s Assistant Director for Education and Skills, Amanda Newbold, said: “We are delighted to see the improvements made at Stillington Primary School, especially while dealing with the challenges brought about by the pandemic.

“I’d like to thank to school leaders at Stillington, as well as staff from the Foston and Terrington schools federation. We will continue to work with the school as they continue on their path towards ever higher standards and achievements.”