Ofsted report praises Ilkeston junior school after inspection visit

Staff and pupils at Chaucer Junior School celebrate their latest Ofsted inspection verdict.
Staff and pupils at Chaucer Junior School celebrate their latest Ofsted inspection verdict.

Staff and pupils at an Ilkeston school have celebrated a glowing report from Ofsted which found it continues to offer high quality education.

Inspector Anthony O’Malley paid a short visit to Chaucer Junior School, on Cranmer Street, last month - the first time it had been looked at by Ofsted since being qualified as Good in 2013.

Chaucer Junior School headteacher Anna Upton.

Chaucer Junior School headteacher Anna Upton.

He found that school performance was still consistent with that verdict, but his letter suggests it could be headed for an Outstanding grade if it continues its trajectory up to the next full inspection.

Headteacher Anna Upton said: “It has made me really proud, particularly the way it talks about us as a team of staff, pupils, parents and the wider community.

“That’s something I’m really passionate about. We are proud to be part of Ilkeston, and a successful school at the heart of it.”

She added: “It’s great to see everybody’s hard work and commitment paid off. I am very lucky to have this team.

“You always hope you’re doing a good job, but it means a lot to have someone come in and say it’s a strong school that is sustaining its success over a long period of time.”

The report notes a wide variety of strengths at Chaucer, describing it as: “An inclusive and friendly school that prepares its pupils very well for their secondary education.

“Since the last inspection, pupils’ attainment and progress have always been at least in line with the national averages, and sometimes above.”

The inspector adds: “Your school’s successes are not limited to good academic outcomes.

“Pupils and parents greatly appreciate the attention you pay to developing the pupils’ personalities and interests. The gardening club is particularly impressive.”

The inspector singled out the school’s management, and Anna’s leadership, for praise, saying: “You deserve much of the credit for the school’s continued success. You are ambitious for the pupils.

“Year in and year out, you meet this goal because of your unstinting focus on sustaining and improving the good quality of teaching.”

She responded: “There are peaks and troughs in some things, so I’m glad the report notes that if any weakness is ever found, we act straight away to bring it up to standard.

“The inspector has identified three priorities to improve on now, but recognised they will be sorted quickly.”

n To read the inspector’s letter in full, go to https://goo.gl/6TsULh.