Our recent Ofsted inspection said:
- Pupils, who typically have not enjoyed attending previous schools, love learning at Limespring. Staff successfully and rapidly raise their self-esteem. Pupils’ personal development and behaviour are outstanding.
- Parents are overwhelmingly happy. ‘Life changing’, ‘miracle’ and ‘my son/daughter is a different child’ are a few examples of how the school’s impact was described. Every parent who responded to Ofsted’s online questionnaire, Parent View, would recommend the school.
- Safeguarding is effective. Pupils feel cared for and parents trust the school’s leaders to keep their children safe.
- Parents and pupils appreciate the richness of the curriculum. Trips to museums, galleries and theatres enrich pupils’ learning. Pupils especially enjoy the range of creative arts available, such as dance, drama, music and art.
- Leaders have ensured that the school meets all the independent school standards.
However there are improvements needed. The principal together with the school management team and advisory body are working hard to carry out these improvements and have gone a long way towards achieving them. The school is looking to invite Ofsted back in the autumn term 2018 to improve the rating.
- The school’s proprietor is also the headteacher. She recognised that she had too much to do and needed to delegate responsibilities. Work to raise standards and support pupils to achieve their potential is now under way.
- Governance is underdeveloped. The headteacher has the informal support of an expert advisory board, and is rightly in the process of replacing this with a formal governing body.
- Checks on how well staff perform are too basic. They lack detail, deadlines and the effect on pupils’ development.
- The quality of teaching and pupils’ outcomes require improvement because leaders do not know pupils’ starting points in all subjects, or how much progress pupils have made. Anecdotal information is too heavily relied on. A new system for monitoring progress following more consistent checks on pupils’ starting points is being developed.
- Some teaching staff lack the knowledge and skills to teach pupils with specific learning difficulties.
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