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Popular school downgraded after Ofsted inspection
ONE of Bicester’s most popular schools has been downgraded from outstanding to good.
After an inspection under Ofsted’s new framework, King’s Meadow Primary School, in Shakespeare Lane, missed out on the top accolade it had won in March 2008.
The school, which has 383 pupils, received high praise for “inspirational” teaching and an “exhilarating” learning environment in its Early Years Foundation Stage in an inspection in mid-March.
But inspector Liz Kounnou said: “It is not outstanding because some elements of teaching are not fully effective in promoting rapid progress for pupils.”
Last night headteacher Tony Instone and chairman of governors Simon Robins were unavailable for comment.
Community governor Lars Lis, who took up post six months ago, said the result was due to the new inspection guidelines, introduced by Ofsted in January, that have greater emphasis on promoting improvement.
He said: “When you compare it to the results of schools across Oxfordshire it was a great result.
“Ofsted have changed the framework so everybody, but everybody, has got marked down. The ‘good’ result is a very good result and something to be proud of.”
Ms Kounnou said achievement at both Key Stage 1 and 2 was improving, with most pupils making good or better progress.
She said: “School leaders have acted promptly to tackle a dip in achievement that occurred last year.
“Throughout the school almost all groups of pupils, including those learning English as an additional language, build on their prior attainment at a good rate from year to year.”
But she said quality of marking was inconsistent, with some failures to provide specific advice.
She praised a pattern of good behaviour in the pupils that meant many children were uncomfortable when others acted up.
School leaders were described as working diligently to make improvements, and two innovations were praised.
The introduction of meetings with teachers to discuss the progress of pupils in each class was described as having a marked impact on raising standards.
And interviews with samples of children from each class, where youngsters discussed their work, also gave leaders a “very good overview” of what was working well and where improvements needed to be made.
The school was told it could improve by structuring lessons in a way that all pupils could reach the next stage.
Melinda Tilley, Oxfordshire County Council cabinet member for education, said: “I think the new framework will give fewer and fewer schools an outstanding rating.”