Ilkeston infant school rated Good after Ofsted inspection

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An Ilkeston infant school has received a rating of Good after its first visit from Ofsted inspectors for five years.

An inspector made a short visit to Larklands Infant School, on Park Road, in March and found that staff had maintained standards achieved in the school’s last full Ofsted report in 2014.

Headteacher Helen Smith said: “We’re really proud of the outcome and our staff and pupils have worked really hard to remain a good school, with support from families and everyone else involved.

“I’m proud to have a fantastic team who do tremendous work and pull together all year round—not just the day that Ofsted come—to get the best outcomes for every child.”

In the course of her visit, inspector Emma Hollis-Brown met with subject leaders for English and maths, talked to parents and carers, observed lessons and examined pupils’ exercise books, and reviewed improvement plans and key policies.

Summarising her findings in a letter to the headteacher, the inspector said: “The vision for a caring community in which the learning and wellbeing of children are central to decision-making is evident in the strength of relationships between teachers and pupils and quality of pastoral care.”

The inspector had particular praise for the school’s early years provision, where “Planning for teaching is detailed and fully comprehensive, covering all of the early learning areas.”

She also noted the work that had been done to improve the development of disadvantaged pupils, those with special educational needs and/or disabilities.

She did however make recommendations that the school do more to improve literacy attainment for those disadvantaged pupils, and improve attendance levels across the board — though these are in line with national averages.

Helen said: “Nothing came out that we were not expected. Everyone strives to be judged Outstanding, but you can never assume you’re perfect. The next step for us is to continue what we are doing and move even further in some areas.”

To read the full inspection summary, go to