A HEREFORDSHIRE primary school has been told it might not still be rated as good when a full Ofsted inspection is next carried out, inspectors said.

Visiting Cradley CE Primary School, near Ledbury, for the first time in six years, Ofsted said the school was still good, but evidence suggested the inspection grade might not be as high if a graded inspection was carried out.

Because when Ofsted last carried out a full inspection in 2011 the school was judged to be good, and a visit in 2016 found this to still be the case, this latest visit, in October 2022, was to see if the school continued to be good or whether its grade could change at the next full inspection.


Overall, inspectors said that the school, in the village between Ledbury and Malvern, was a warm, friendly and welcoming place where pupils enjoyed going. They found it had a strong sense of community and pupils had a wide range of opportunities outside the classroom.

Pupils at the school, which has effective safeguarding, were also said to behave well, with bullying rare and any cases dealt with quickly.

Under the leadership of headteacher Donna Jones, the school, with 130 pupils aged between two and 11, has designed a broad and ambitious curriculum, but there was still room for improvement in some subjects such as geography.

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Inspectors Gareth Morgan and Anne Potter said teachers' expectations were not consistent enough on occasions, but leaders did understand the importance of reading.

Teachers at the school, which inspectors said was inclusive and caring, know how well pupils are learning, and the teaching of maths was singled out for praise.

"The curriculum extends well beyond the academic," inspectors added.

"Despite being a small school, pupils get a huge range of opportunities, such as after-school clubs. All pupils in Year 6 have responsibilities such as becoming prayer leaders, play leaders or digital leaders.

"In all of these roles, they contribute to the life of the school considerably."


The school, which will next face a graded inspection, its first since 2011, was given three areas in which to improve.

Inspectors said the school’s approach to teaching phonics was not consistent. The books pupils read did not always match the sounds they know. This meant that pupils who find early reading difficult did not make as much progress as they could.

They also said that in some subjects, leaders had not thought in enough detail about what pupils should be learning and remembering. Because of this, learning was sometimes limited or confused.

And finally, they said leaders, including subject leaders, had made many changes at the school in recent months but had not yet evaluated the impact they had had. This meant that they did not have a full picture of the strengths and weaknesses in the curriculum.