Coltishall Primary School

In 2012, Coltishall Primary School – a co-educational community school catering for pupils aged 5-11 – was judged ‘satisfactory’ by Ofsted; a great shock to the head teacher and leadership team.

London Leadership Strategy (LLS) had been working with Norfolk County Council enrolling a number of local schools on to a variety of its programmes, and representatives from the County Council recommended its ‘Securing Good’ programme to Coltishall’s head teacher.

Coltishall were particularly attracted to the way that the one-day conferences broke down the Ofsted framework, covering one section on each of the conference days, and the face-to-face consultation time with one of LLS’s Consultant Heads, and so enrolled on the programme. 

Within a year of enrolment on the programme, Securing Good had given Coltishall Primary the wherewithal to jump from ‘satisfactory’ to ‘outstanding’ when they were re-inspected in December 2013.

The most significant impacts on Coltishall included:

  • Becoming better equipped to self-evaluate and judge areas for improvement.
  • Taking best practice recommendations from the conferences and applying them to their school with assistance from the Consultant Head.
  • Reviewing and assessing of strengths and weaknesses in the Senior Leadership Team.
  • Developing the ‘Coltishall’ philosophy and way of working.
 Mark Adamson, Coltishall Primary School’s Headteacher, said “We made an amazing transformation from ‘satisfactory’ in all areas to ‘Outstanding’ in all areas. The programme gave us the rigour and commitment to make these significant improvements.”

Long-term implications

The structure of the Securing Good programme and its clear focus on Ofsted grade descriptors has fundamentally shaped how the Senior Leadership Team plan and develop Coltishall school.

Coltishall continue to develop their documentation to make it closer to the Ofsted framework in order to experience continued success. They have married the school improvement plan with the SEF so that there is one central document in order to avoid confusion and maximise consistency.

Adamson concludes, “The time we spent in London with schools from both Norfolk and London talking with them about the issues and solutions available meant that every second of the day was spent talking about school improvement. Thanks to Securing Good, we are able to manage the school in our own way, but also in a way that supports and compliments the inspection framework."


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