Video: Starbeck Primary School celebrate Ofsted rating

28 June 2013

Starbeck Community Primary School in Harrogate is celebrating a vastly improved Ofsted rating.

In an Ofsted report published this week the school has been rated as good in every category with outstanding provision for early years children and with pupils working above their age level, especially in reading and writing. The school’s leaders and management have been praised for their high expectations and strong focus on attainment and children for being courteous and for their positive attitudes to learning.


Starbeck Primary School


The school has come a long way and achieved rapid improvement in under 18 months after Starbeck was served with notice to improve in February 2012. Under the leadership of headteacher Carolyn Sandford, who has “a clear understanding of the school’s strengths and areas for development” the achievement of both able pupils and more vulnerable learners has notably improved, especially in mathematics. Inspectors also praised local authority advisers for their “effective support” over the last year.

Inspectors highlighted some key strengths:

Teaching is good in all areas of the school and teachers plan imaginative lessons that sustain and capture childrens’ interest so they are engaged in their learning

Good relationships between pupils and staff that have helped to raise pupils’ self-esteem which is a key factor in ensuring pupils make good progress

The quality of marking is of a high standard


Starbeck Primary School drums


Carolyn Sandford said everybody was delighted with the Ofsted judgement:

We are over the moon that we have secured such a rapid turn-around in the school’s standards and its future prospects. We have focused relentlessly on improving children’s learning and raising standards in the classroom and could not have done this without the whole community supporting us – children, senior leaders, middle leaders, teachers, teaching assistants, parents, governors – as well as our adviser from the Local Authority

We have known all along what we needed to do to improve, but we needed to apply that vision consistently. We have focused on how children learn best and closely monitored our practice to make sure this matches our vision.

She said the whole community was now on board in order for Starbeck to continue its journey to being an outstanding school.

County Councillor Arthur Barker, North Yorkshire’s Executive Member for Schools said:

We are extremely proud of this outcome for Starbeck community primary. Inspectors have rightly acknowledged the hard work and clear focus on raising standards of the school’s leadership with the support of the entire community.

We have high ambition in North Yorkshire for children to access the very best in education and we work hard with our partners to provide the best solutions for improving outcomes for all children, narrowing gaps in educational attainment, while continuing to stretch the most able.


The full Ofsted Report (adobe reader required)

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