Fakenham school and children’s centre welcome Ofsted verdicts

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In its first-ever inspection by the education watchdog, the Fakenham Gateway Surestart Children’s Centre was judged as ‘outstanding’ and the town’s Infant and Nursery School rated as ‘good’ – up from ‘requires improvement’ at its last inspection two years ago.

Inspectors visited the settings, which are both based on the school site in Norwich Road, independently of each other last month, and reports for each were published this week.

The school’s report said the determined leadership of headteacher Sarah Gallichan, and other school leaders and governors, have brought about “significant improvements”.

“The high expectations of staff and governors and the school’s statement of ‘together we can’, underpins the work of the school, in which teaching has improved and pupils’ achievement is good,” it added.

The inspectors said pupils’ attainment has improved year- on-year. Although attainment is a little lower in writing than in other subjects, they said pupils move up from low starting points and make good progress.

The report also praised the early years provision, and the the behaviour of pupils.

Mrs Gallichan said: “The staff, team and governors have worked incredibly hard over the last two years. There has been a real sense of pulling together as a team and we’re really pleased that this was acknowledged during the inspection.

“It’s a really positive report and feel it is an accurate reflection of what happens on a day-to-day basis at the school.”

The children’s centre report said “exceptionally good partnerships” ensure it can provide a wide range of services to families and good outreach support to those who need its services most.

It also said activities at the centre are having a positive impact on supporting children’s learning and development.

Children’s centre manager Janice Jackson said: “We are thrilled that our recent Ofsted inspection acknowledges not only the hard work of the team but also the contribution our parents have made in support of service delivery.

“We dedicate our outstanding judgement for access to all our families and external colleagues who tirelessly work to ensure we can meet the needs of children and their families.

“We are excited about the journey ahead and have already prepared plans to build on the successes of the work achieved to date.”