THE headteacher at a Herefordshire primary school which has lost its outstanding Ofsted rating has complained about the inspection.

Stoke Prior Primary School, near Leominster, lost the top rating and was instead handed the bottom grade of inadequate.

After a two-day inspection, inspectors rated the school's quality of education and personal development as requiring improvement, leadership and management was said to be inadequate, while behaviour and attitudes and early years provision also good.


The inspectors said that to improve, the school, under the leadership of headteacher Matt Lewis, needs to prioritise safeguarding, put in place a systematic phonics.

But in a letter to parents at the school, which has 94 pupils aged between four and 11 years old, Mr Lewis said he had complained about the inspection.

It took just under four months for the inspection report to be published, something which was delayed as the school challenged the judgements and made a complaint to Ofsted about the process that was followed and the conduct of the inspection team, he said.

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The outcome resulted in a number of aspects of the complaints being upheld, Mr Lewis, who was the headteacher during 2017's inspection which resulted in an outstanding rating, said.

In the letter, he said: "I am disappointed and saddened with the outcome of the report as I feel that it doesn’t represent the happy, safe and stimulating environment that I work in every day.

"The commitment and dedication of our professional staff and the happy children that we see each and every day are noted by a range of visitors to the school, whether that be headteacher colleagues with whom I work with for school improvement, local authority officers who visit the school, or our governors who regularly visit the school to support and challenge us to be successful in our curriculum offer and are proud of our wonderful school community."

Despite Ofsted's concerns over ineffective safeguarding, Mr Lewis said governors, staff and Herefordshire Council representatives supported his belief that children were not at risk of harm.

He said the school had invested in software to improve safety, would check that staff training was effective, work with external advisors and ensure governors continue to have access to training as it responded to concerns.


He added: "While the content of this report may alarm you, rest assured that at no point was it stated that children have been let down by our safeguarding processes and procedures."

There were also steps being taken to improve the overall curriculum and the teaching of phonics, both highlighted in Ofsted's report, published in January, as needing improvement.

Saying the school would now be subject to regular monitoring visits, Mr Lewis said to parents: "I am very proud of the dedicated and committed staff team that we have here at Stoke Prior Primary School.

"I am also very proud of how much support we receive from parents and the community. We will value this support even more so, as we take the steps required to enable us to secure the improvements that we have been tasked with."