New Earswick Primary School has moved out of special measures following a two-day Ofsted inspection which rated the school as good with outstanding features.

Out of the five key areas the school was assessed on, Ofsted judged the quality of education, behaviour and attitudes of pupils and their personal development to be good. The early years provision and leadership and management of the school both achieved the highest rating of outstanding with the report opening with: “Leaders are ambitious and passionate about learning for all pupils at New Earswick. They have been relentless in their drive to ensure that learning builds over time and is progressive across the school.”

Headteacher, Angela Oswald, said: “I cannot praise the staff team, our pupils and our families enough. The journey since 2017 has been a team effort and continues to be a team effort. We are excitedly looking forward and wish to build on the successes shared in this report.”

The school was previously inspected in November 2016 when it was rated inadequate and placed into special measures. Schools in special measures and required by law to convert to an academy and, since October 2017, New Earswick has been part of Pathfinder Multi Academy Trust, a partnership of ten church and community schools serving more than 4,000 children and their families across York.

Inspectors praised the leadership team and their work to improve the school saying: “Leaders of the school have worked swiftly to introduce new approaches to improve the school. They have encouraged staff to work together to plan learning and improve the provision for all pupils.”

During their visit, inspectors met with the headteacher, senior leaders, governors, trustees and the chief executive officer of the trust; talked to pupils about the school and observed lessons; scrutinised a range of documents and plans for improvement and looked in depth at various subjects, including reading, mathematics, geography and PE.

Highlighting the strengths of the curriculum, the report said: “Leaders review the curriculum regularly to ensure that teachers are well supported to adapt learning to meet the needs of all pupils. This shared approach has ensured that subjects, such as mathematics, are taught consistently and effectively.” Phonics and reading were both identified as areas the school does well in, with reading being a core focus for the school. Inspectors noted that pupils enjoy reading and talk enthusiastically about a range of authors and their enjoyment of books.

Pathfinder’s CEO, Andrew Daly, said: “We are delighted with New Earswick’s Ofsted outcome. Mrs Oswald and her team have worked tirelessly to make rapid and sustained improvements across the entire school, ensuring children from early years through to year 6 receive the best possible learning experiences and opportunities. Taking a school from inadequate to good with outstanding areas is a phenomenal achievement and all the more impressive given the ongoing impact of the pandemic and more rigorous Ofsted framework making judgements harder to achieve. Well done to the entire school community on this remarkable and well-deserved achievement.”

The early years provision was identified as a particular strength of the school with the report saying: “Pupils in the early years have an exceptional start to their school life. They are given well-planned opportunities to develop curiosity and enthusiasm for learning. The environment is carefully constructed to build independence from the earliest days and pupils thrive here.”

The report also recognised that pupils are proud to attend school, relationships between staff and pupils are very positive and that everyone enjoys being part of the school team and relishes coming to school each day.

Inspectors found safeguarding arrangements to be effective, noting: “Safeguarding is a priority for the school. Leaders have created well-organised and rigorous systems to record concerns. Staff are well-trained and knowledgeable.”

Parents were asked to share their views of the school saying that everyone ‘goes the extra mile’ to support families and to help pupils to be successful.

New Earswick Primary School Acting Chair of Governors, Isobel Copeland, said: “The governing board are extremely proud of the whole school team for the progress they have made since the last Ofsted. Aside from the incredible strides made, New Earswick now stands out as an extremely good school brimming with energy and exemplary teaching. The vision and ethos unites all members of the school community and produces pupils ready for the challenges of secondary education. The senior leadership team have been relentless in their quest to support every child to do their best and be the best they can be in a setting that inspires engagement and learning.”

The school has a small number of reception places available for September 2022. Please contact 01904 806446 for more information.

Pathfinder has been celebrating recent Ofsted successes at three of its other schools including Clifton with Rawcliffe Primary School and Hempland Primary School which were both rated good in all areas and Archbishop Holgate’s School which was awarded Ofsted’s highest rating being judged outstanding in all areas.

Read the Ofsted Report