Holy Trinity Primary Academy and Nursery in Oswestry was judged as ‘requires improvement’ by the schools inspector following a visit last month, despite being graded ‘good’ in three of the five criteria.
The school’s principal and St Chad’s Academy Trust said they were disappointed with the findings, which they are now challenging with Ofsted.
Principal Rod Dickson said: “The recent Ofsted judgement for overall effectiveness is one that St Chad’s Academies Trust, the school governors and the school senior leaders unanimously disagree with.
“Prior to our Ofsted visit, St Chad’s Academies Trust had carried out an internal inspection process under the new inspection framework resulting in a firm evidence base and an overall good judgement being made.
“Ofsted’s decision is now being challenged by the trust and a formal complaint is being made regarding the inspection process and the overall effectiveness grade.
“Ofsted introduced a new inspection process in September 2019 and the way they inspect and judge schools now is different to how they were previously inspected.
“Schools have not yet been given adequate time to adapt to these new expectations from Ofsted which is causing issues nationally.”
Inspectors said new curriculum plans were not being applied consistently across the school, and found work was sometimes too easy for more able pupils.
The school’s early years provision also faced criticism, with the report saying learning could be “disjointed” and activities”do not always build on what children have learned in the past”.
Mr Dickson said he was pleased to see praise in the report for the school’s friendly and welcoming ethos and the behaviour of the children, who he said were the school’s “greatest asset”.
He said academic progress was moving in the right direction, and improvements recommended by the inspectors were already being addressed.
Mr Dickson said: “We are all deeply disappointed and surprised by the inspection outcome, particularly after all the improvements that have been made at Holy Trinity over the last two years along with the significant progress in our academic achievements.
“This hard work has resulted in a happy and caring environment where high expectations and aspirations are present and KS2 results are now in line with or above national standards.
“We want reassure our community that this hard work will continue regardless of any inspection outcome.
“We would also encourage community members to come along and visit Holy Trinity so that they can gain a first-hand experience of what life is really like at our wonderful school.”