Inspectors’ report hails Harpenden school’s turnaround

A HARPENDEN primary school hailed locally as “a gem” has been applauded by Ofsted inspectors for its continued improvement.

In their report on Sauncey Wood Primary inspectors said: “This is a good and inclusive school which has improved since the last inspection [in 2007].”

Inspectors who visited the school in December rated both its overall effectiveness and capacity for sustained improvement as “good”, a rating applied to the majority of aspects in the detailed report which praised the school for being “adept in giving support to pupils who are falling behind in their learning.”

The report said: “It has very positive relationships with parents and carers. Several wrote to say, ‘This is a gem of a school’, ‘It is like a second home’.”

The majority of the school’s 116 pupils were making good progress, which stemmed from “good teaching and a strong focus on literacy and numeracy.”


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Sauncey Wood’s achievement is particularly welcome given that a decade ago the school in Pickford Hill was described as having “serious weaknesses” by a Government inspection team.

Headteacher John Burt said this week: “I am delighted that Ofsted has judged us to be a good school as this is something that everybody directly involved with the school has recognised for some time.

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“The key to our success has been that everybody involved with the school - children, parents, staff and governors - has worked as a team to bring about the improvements we have made. We are really proud of what we have achieved to date and are excited about the future.”

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