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Lynsted and Norton Primary School near Sittingbourne rated inadequate by Ofsted but trust insists changes are being made

By: Chloe Holmwood cholmwood@thekmgroup.co.uk

Published: 06:00, 31 July 2021

The CEO of a trust running a village primary school rated as inadequate by the eduction watchdog says he is disappointed with the outcome but insists changes are already being made to raise standards.

Lynsted and Norton Primary School in Lynsted, near Sittingbourne, was downgraded from ‘requires improvement’ to Ofsted’s lowest rating after its latest inspection in May.

Lynsted and Norton Primary School, near Sittingbourne

Lead inspector Lucy English said in her report that pupils were happy to be attending the school, but they were “not learning what they should”.

She added: “The curriculum is jumbled and confusing. It does not set out what knowledge pupils need to learn and when.

“It does not support staff to plan lessons that develop pupils’ knowledge.”

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The inspector said leaders needed to “urgently establish a logical, coherent and sequentially planned curriculum” that staff understood and could work with, among other things.

However, she did note that leaders had launched “well-considered actions” that were already making a difference.

Catherine McLaughlin is set to take over Lynsted and Norton Primary in September

The report also mentioned how “turbulence” in leadership had continued and that, since a monitoring inspection in October 2019, the interim headteacher - the ninth headteacher in nine years - and most members of the local monitoring council had left.

Speaking about the report, David Whitehead, CEO of Our Community Multi Academy Trust, said the outcome was “extremely disappointing”.

He added: “The timing of the inspection was incredibly unfortunate and frustrating, coming at a time when we are still experiencing the full impact of the pandemic and at a time of extensive change within our school.

“We believe the report reflects the culmination of many years of disruption that the school has had to endure. This is a situation that the new trust is fully committed to resolving quickly and effectively.

“We are pleased the report identifies the positive changes the new trust leadership team is making. We are also encouraged that the actions for improvement as written in the report are now well under way and are part of our key priorities to move the school forward.”

"Our trust is committed to working with the school to achieve its ambition of the highest standard of education and care for every child in our school.”

Mr Whitehead said the trust felt the school was “already in a stronger position” than when the inspection took place.

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He added: “We have a new head teacher, Catherine McLaughlin, joining us from September, with two very experienced teaching staff joining the team.

“The staff are dedicated to embedding an exciting, fit-for-purpose curriculum, whilst at the same time raising the quality of teaching and learning across the school. Our trust is committed to working with the school to achieve its ambition of the highest standard of education and care for every child in our school.”

Read more: All the latest news from Sittingbourne

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