Ofsted praises school where headteacher was sacked

Cantley Primary School and Nursery. 

Cantley Primary School and Nursery. - Credit: Archant

A school where the headteacher was sacked for changing pupils' answers in a bid to boost test results has been praised by Ofsted for making improvements.  

Cantley Primary School has retained its ‘good’ rating following an inspection carried out in June that found the current leadership has “provided new impetus and ambition for the whole curriculum”.

“Before the pandemic struck, plans were well advanced to ensure that the curriculum was planned and delivered effectively across all subjects,” said inspectors.

The Ofsted report said the implementation of curriculum plans in subjects other than English and maths was currently “less consistent”.

It states: “Checking what pupils know in subjects beyond English, maths and science is not
regular enough to help teachers make a positive difference to pupils’ learning.

But it added: “The high quality of the curriculum planning, together with the commitment of leaders and training that is currently taking place, gives confidence that from September 2021 the quality of the whole curriculum will have been improved.”


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Inspectors praised the schools teaching of reading and writing, with teachers regularly enthusiastically reading to pupils in class, and said children with special educational needs or disabilities being “well supported”.

They said the high levels of attendance reflected that pupils love the “small school atmosphere”, with bullying rare. 

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Parents who responded to a survey were happy with the school, they added.

The routine inspection is the first since Cantley and Horning Federation merged with Freethorpe Community Primary School in 2019 to form the Together Federation

Former headteacher Christopher Aitken was sacked by the new trust after it was discovered he had doctored pupils’ test papers to boost SATs results.

A teaching disciplinary panel earlier this year found he had acted dishonestly.

The Ofsted report said: “Since the previous inspection, there have been several changes in leadership. 

“The local authority has worked with governors to find ways to strengthen leadership and curriculum opportunities, including by becoming part of a wider partnership involving more schools.

“The positive impact is very clear through the stabilised leadership and improving curriculum.”

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