Outstanding at William Morris Primary School
Government inspectors praised our school for “driving the development of the school with grit and determination” and “its rapid and highly effective transformation” since Executive Headteacher Julie Hiddleston and her leadership team took over in 2016. Tribute was paid to the staff’s “huge ambition for pupils”, and the “excellent” behaviour and personal development of children.
The top rating from the Department for Education is all the more impressive considering that two years ago, the school was in special measures.
“We’ve worked incredibly hard over the last two years to raise standards, and we’re very proud of what we’ve achieved here, so to receive external recognition like this – and not just a good report, but the very highest one we could possibly get - is a huge achievement for everyone involved with the school,” said Miss Hiddleston.
“Our school has the most committed, talented and incredible group of leaders, teachers and support staff – I feel privileged every day working with them and our amazing children”.
Amongst the elements of school life that most impressed the inspectors were teaching, which was described as “calm, purposeful and precise… ensuring ‘no pupil is left behind’”, as well as the “warm and inclusive atmosphere”, and the special attention given to disadvantaged pupils – and their subsequent academic success, and the expert help given to pupils with special educational needs, helping them to be fully integrated with the rest of the school.
The latest success comes hot on the heels of William Morris Primary having recorded its best SATS results in more than seven years. The national pupil average for reaching the ‘expected standard’ in reading, writing and maths is 64%. This year, William Morris pupils recorded a score of 69%.
Ours is the first primary school in Oxfordshire run by the GLF Schools trust, a Surrey-based chain which runs 30 schools across the south east of England.
The benefits of the multi-academy system also caught the eye of the Ofsted inspectors, who said it “helped leaders to prioritise the right things” as part of a well-established action plan.
“Being part of the GLF Family really makes a difference,” said Miss Hiddleston. “It means you always know you can call upon help from someone else if you need it, and as our Ofsted rating shows, working together really can help people to achieve great things.”