Haverhill school ‘requires improvement,’ says Ofsted

Burton End Primary Academy in Haverhill
Burton End Primary Academy in Haverhill

A Haverhill primary school has outlined a rapid action plan – based around strong and positive leadership - after a recent Ofsted inspection deemed it ‘requires improvement’.

Measures to further improve education at Burton End Primary Academy have been installed since September as well as greater communication with parents.

The inspectors recognised that the Samuel Ward Academy Trust, of which Burton End has been a member since December, has already provided very good support to the school.

The Trust also pledged its full support to the school to address further issues identified by inspectors, with a reinforced focus on strong and positive leadership.

Ofsted inspectors highlighted the role of Chris Beazeley, interim headteacher since September, and the fact he has overseen quick improvements in his first month.

They also praised the Trust for its “swift action” with Karen Sheargold, current headteacher at Kedington Primary Academy, taking over in January.

Dr Tim Coulson, chief executive of Samuel Ward Academy Trust (SWAT), said he was confident the school would quickly improve – and was pleased the inspection mirrored the Trust’s own evaluation.

He said: “The Ofsted report supports the action plan which has been developed by the Trust to bring about higher ambition and improved outcomes and progress at Burton End Primary Academy.

“The inspection can give all parents the reassurance that the school is on a rapidly improving trajectory which will be further enhanced with the new headteacher joining the school in the New Year.

“With the full support of Samuel Ward Academy Trust, I have no doubt that Burton End will quickly become a good school.”

Dr Sam Gallacher, chair of governors, said: “Joining the Samuel Ward Academy Trust has ensured that the school has the necessary support and challenge to make these rapid improvements.

“I hope our families and other stakeholders will see the positive changes from leadership that the Trust has helped secure already this term.

“That will be a key focus going forward.

“The Ofsted team recognised that there are many signs of improvement since last term and this is very encouraging.

“In particular, the new leadership team has taken immediate positive action to put the academy on the right track.

“Leadership and Governance capacity has been significantly improved by the Trust.

“I am confident, with the support of our key stakeholders, that Burton End Primary Academy will quickly progress.”

The report also praised the numerous curricular opportunities – including music, art and physical education - and the good start pupils make in the nursery and reception classes.

Since joining the Trust, class leaders, subject leaders and senior staff and governors at Burton End have benefitted from high-quality training through the SWAT’s teaching school, the Suffolk Borders Teaching Alliance, as well as regular meetings with other relevant leaders from across the Trust.