Ofsted praise for tiny school

Reasons to celebrate - Pupils at the tiny Winmarleigh School
Reasons to celebrate - Pupils at the tiny Winmarleigh School

Pupils at one of Lancashire’s smallest schools are making a big impression after winning praise from government watchdogs.

The tiny Winmarleigh CE Primary School saw its official rating slashed when inspectors from the Office for Standards in Education visited in 2013.

Pupils have excelled themselves and are a credit to both the school and their parents

Teacher

Despite being hailed good in all areas of teaching and general school life, the school was deemed to require improvement as a joint management with a neighbouring school wasn’t working as well as it should have been.

Inspectors said at the time: “Staff and governors are becoming increasingly sceptical about arrangements for collaboration with another school.

“They struggle to identify any specific benefits in terms of raising standards and improving teaching. Teachers are openly critical of the impact of sharing a headteacher.”

However, after the latest full inspection the Ofsted team was so impressed with standards they awarded the 25-pupil school Good grades in four areas and described the personal development, behaviour and welfare of pupil as “outstanding”.

Inspectors noted that, since the last inspection: “There has been a constant drive to improve the school and this, coupled with more effective governance, has resulted in improvements in all areas.”

The school shares headteacher Ian Cookson with Bleasdale CE Primary and, said Ofsted, links between the two are good.

Parents “are overwhelmingly happy with the current arrangements”, the report added.

Lead inspector Jeremy Barnes was impressed with the quality of teaching, learning and assessment.

In his final report he said: “Staff are very good role models, displaying respect for each other which transfers to the pupils’ interactions and around school. The behaviour of pupils is outstanding.”

Teacher Clare Darling said: “The whole school family are extremely proud of the outcome of the inspection.

“Pupils have excelled themselves and are a credit to both the school and their parents.”