School Trust responds to Ofsted

Rye's primary school, which has had to grow (above) to meet increasing demand, responds to criticism

Following an Ofsted inspection of Rye Community Primary School between January 24 and 30 this year, the school has been judged to have serious weaknesses and the Trust responsible for managing Rye’s schools has issued the following statement:
The school retains its ‘good’ rating for personal development, behaviour and welfare and Early Years provision and Inspectors commended the strong leadership and very effective teaching in Early Years provision which enables children to make a great start to school life.
In addition, Inspectors found that children know adults in the school care deeply about their safety, happiness and well-being and they feel confident to talk to adults if they have any problems.
These strengths notwithstanding, Ofsted has identified a number of weaknesses in the school and areas for development.  The new Senior Leadership Team and Board of Trustees have taken immediate action to address the report’s findings, and changes are already under way as part of a comprehensive action plan.
Chair of Trustees Stephen Ward said: “Whilst the overall grade is disappointing, trustees and leaders understand what needs to be done. We have a framework in place to address the areas for improvement, building upon much of the excellent work and good practice already being carried out by our staff and pupils.
“The timing of our Ofsted visit came after we ourselves had recognised the need for improvement and we have already made changes which are having an impact.  We are confident about being able to demonstrate the impact of these changes when Ofsted return to our school.”
Chief Executive Officer Tim Hulme said: “The Trust as a whole is on a strong, recovery trajectory. Trustees have worked closely and in partnership with the Department for Education since September 2016 and my appointment as the Trust’s first CEO to stabilise the organisation financially and ensure our resources are directed towards providing the best educational experience for all our learners.
“The new leadership team within our Primary School is driving rapid and sustained improvement in quality and standards with the full support of our new Board of Trustees.”
Tim concludes saying: “We are a family of community schools serving children and families in the local area. We value the strong support we receive from parents and the wider community. We are  committed to working in partnership with all stakeholders to secure the long-term sustainability of high-quality education in Rye.
“The Ofsted judgement does not detract from the hard work of our staff in providing a happy, secure, environment in which all our children are supported to achieve to their full potential.” (Source: Rye Academy Trust).

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