Wing school rated as Requires Improvement by Ofsted after 'period of considerable turbulence'

Overstone Combined School ‘disappointed’ with the result
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A Wing school has been rated as Requires Improvement by Ofsted as it emerges from a "period of considerable turbulence".

Overstone Combined School, Church Street, was given the rating in three areas – Quality of Education; Behaviour and Attitudes, and Leadership and Management. But Personal Development and Early Years Provision were rated Good.

The school was rated Good during its last inspection in 2019, but the report explained that since then there have been "many changes of leadership in the school", during which "expectations and standards of behaviour declined".

Education stock image.Education stock image.
Education stock image.

Kirsty Eales, who has been headteacher at Overstone since 2020, said: “As you can imagine we are disappointed with the overall judgement by Ofsted, however the inspectors recognised the journey the school has been on over the last few years and agreed we are heading in the right – and upward – direction. We are committed to continuing our journey of improvement, developing our rich curriculum and embedding our core values of kindness, respect, effort and listening.”

The latest report recognises a number of strengths, stating: "Pupils enjoy their school. Teachers care about their needs and keep them safe. Leaders have prioritised pupils’ personal development, and pupils enjoy a wide range of clubs and activities. Bullying is rare and if it does happen, adults and anti-bullying ambassadors will sort out any problems."

The inspectors noted that since the "turbulence", new leaders have established "high expectations" and "clear routines" that support learning. Incidents of poor behaviour has "reduced".

But it adds: "Many pupils respond to these [high] expectations, but too often pupils’ behaviour disrupts the day-to-day life of the school."

It continued: "Leaders are ambitious for all pupils, including those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND). However, weaknesses in the curriculum mean that too many pupils in key stages 1 and 2 do not achieve well enough."

Looking forward, the inspectors stated that there is now a "new and ambitious curriculum for all pupils", including those with SEND, which is "broad and inspiring".

To improve, leaders should "precisely select the knowledge they want pupils to remember over time"; ensure that teachers’ knowledge is consistent for all subjects; ensure that leaders’ approaches to the "improvement of educational quality" does not vary; ensure behaviour is good in all year groups.

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