School’s Ofsted turnaround

Pupils from Pickhill Primary celebrate its latest Ofsted inspection which rated the school 'Good'. (S)
Pupils from Pickhill Primary celebrate its latest Ofsted inspection which rated the school 'Good'. (S)

A school near Ripon which was plunged into special measures by Ofsted inspectors three years ago is celebrating its successful turnaround.

Pickhill Primary School, near Ripon, has been given a Grade Two (“Good”) rating in its latest inspection – a sharp contrast to June 2011 when inspectors judged the school inadequatte and an improvement committee was set up to raise standards.

Pickhill Primary came out of special measures in January 2013, when inspectors rated it at Grade Three (“Requires Improvement”).

“We were absolutely delighted when we heard that Ofsted said we were ‘good’,” said headteacher Christine Gabbott.

“Our success has been down to a team effort from parents, governors, staff and children. The inspector loved the way the children look after each other. He also praised their behaviour and their attitude to learning.

“Three years ago it was a shock to the community and it affected morale and confidence when we were put into special measures. Since then we’ve worked to turn the school around.”

The headteacher and the chairman of governors, Penny Robson, said their goal is now to take the school to the next level and get a Grade One “Outstanding” rating.

Mrs Robson said: “It has been a long, hard journey but everyone has been totally committed and we now look forward to moving to ‘outstanding’.”

A song aboout the latest Ofsted verdict was sung by pupils to an audience of around 150 at a thanksgiving and celebration event at the school.