Head of King’s Lynn complex needs school delighted by ‘good’ Ofsted rating

Paul Donkersloot with pupils at Churchill Park School celebrating a good ofsted report ANL-150715-152807009
Paul Donkersloot with pupils at Churchill Park School celebrating a good ofsted report ANL-150715-152807009

Parents of children with complex needs can be reassured they are getting the best possible education after Ofsted praised a “rigorous” drive to improve at West Norfolk’s only special school.

The education watchdog has judged Churchill Park School in Fairstead, Lynn, as ‘good’ in all areas following a two-day inspection in June.

The turnaround comes two years after the school was rated as ‘requires improvement’ following an inspection in 2013 – and now leaders have set their sights firmly on becoming ‘outstanding’.

School headteacher Paul Donkersloot, who was appointed to the role in September last year, said: “We believe we are a very good school and are determined, over the next two to three years, to be even better, and to become an outstanding school.

“Churchill Park is the eighth school I have been headteacher or principal of all over the country and it has got the capacity to be the best school I have ever worked in.”

He said everyone at the school, which caters for pupils from reception to sixth form age, was “delighted” with Ofsted’s latest report, adding that it was testament not only to the hard work of staff, but also the governors and pupils, and the support of parents.

“We are very proud of what we have achieved but it’s nice to see it in black and white, and to be recognised for the good work the team here has done,” he said.

In Ofsted’s glowing report, published last week, inspectors said since Mr Donkersloot’s appointment there has been “a rigorous drive to improve all aspects of the school so that pupils receive the best possible education”.

Teaching across the school is now good thanks to robust monitoring from leaders and governors, and focused training and support, and the vast majority of pupils make “good progress” from their individual starting points.

“Some pupils make outstanding progress. This is in all subjects including reading, writing, communication and mathematics,” it adds.

The report also praised pupils’ behaviour and said the school’s work to keep pupils safe and secure was outstanding.

It said: “Staff provide the highest quality care and support for pupils and ensure their safety in all settings.”