Briar Hill Primary School’s step in the right direction as Ofsted inspectors say it could be judged ‘outstanding’ next time

Inspectors said there was enough improvement for the school to be moved up a ranking at the next ‘full inspection’

By Carly Odell
Friday, 12th November 2021, 4:00 pm

A Northampton primary school has maintained its ‘good’ Ofsted rating as inspectors say the next visit could result in an ‘outstanding’ grading.

Briar Hill Primary School, in Thorn Hill, was rated ‘good’ by inspectors in 2016 during a ‘full inspection’, following a ‘requires improvement’ grading in 2014.

Ofsted visited the school again on September 14 this year for a ‘school inspection’, which is different from a 'full inspection'. A new official rating is given at a ‘full inspection’ but not at a ‘school inspection’.

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Briar Hill Primary School.

However, the report published this week relating to the most recent visit, states there is enough improvement in the school that the next time a ‘full inspection’ is carried out the rating should be upgraded to ‘outstanding’.

In the latest report, Ofsted inspectors said: “There is enough evidence of improved performance to suggest that the school could be judged outstanding if the inspector were to carry out a section 5 inspection now.

“The school’s next inspection will be a section 5 inspection.”

The report highlighted reading, curriculum development and meeting children’s non-academic needs as particular successes.

It also highlights curriculum plans for history so ‘pupils can develop knowledge of the practices of this subject’ as an area for improvement, as well all curriculum plans needing ‘sufficient detail’.

Janey Cooksley, principal at Briar Hill Primary School, which is part of the David Ross Education Trust (DRET), said: “We are absolutely delighted with our latest Ofsted inspection report.

“It feels fantastic to have the hard work we do every day to ensure our school performs to the highest possible standards recognised and to read the wonderful feedback of inspectors, parents and pupils.

“We will continue to do everything we can to serve our school community and to secure the Outstanding rating that we deserve.”

Simon Rose, director of primary education at DRET, added: “A huge congratulations to Briar Hill on their latest Ofsted inspection.

“This excellent report is the culmination of years of strong leadership from principal Janey Cooksley and the wider team at Briar Hill, who are committed to improving educational outcomes both within Briar Hill and across the trust as a whole.

“I have every confidence that through the ongoing determination of the school’s leadership team, Briar Hill will achieve its goals of becoming an ‘outstanding’ school, and we look forward to sharing the joy of their continued success.”

The next ‘full inspection’ will be within one to two years, according to Ofsted.