Primary academy rated as good with potential for outstanding

Published May 4, 2018

Blackthorns Community Primary Academy in Lindfield has maintained a ‘Good’ rating from the Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted) following an inspection in March.

Ofsted praised improvements made, stating: “The school has demonstrated strong practice and marked improvement in certain areas. This may indicate that the school is improving towards being outstanding.”

The news comes shortly after Blackthorns was recognised as one of the best performing primary schools in the country, based on data from the Department of Education and Ofsted, analysed by the Schools, Students and Teachers network.

The Ofsted inspection was the first since Blackthorns joined the University of Brighton Academies Trust, sponsored by the University of Brighton, in 2015.

Referring to Blackthorn’s Principal, Marianne Brand it stated: “You and your leaders are dedicated to ensuring all aspects of the school are as strong as they can be. You pursue this aim with passion, determination and vigour. As a result of your firm commitment, all pupils are supported extremely well and thrive in your school. You have an in-depth knowledge of each pupil’s individual strengths and weaknesses, and you work closely with all staff to ensure that pupils’ needs are fully met.”

The report also noted:

  • “Teaching staff’s strong subject knowledge, enthusiasm and passion enable pupils to reach their potential.”
  • “Pupils are exceptionally well behaved and polite. They participate in a purposeful manner, showing high levels of engagement in class.”
  •   “Parents and carers are overwhelmingly positive about the school. One parent, echoing the views of many, stated that they ‘couldn’t ask for a better school’.”

The Trust was also commended: “The multi academy trust (MAT) provides effective school improvement support and has made an extremely positive impact on teaching and learning. The MAT is a very active part of the school and has helped members of the local board to develop their understanding of educational issues and pupils’ progress data. The Local Board members stated that the support they receive from the MAT is ‘phenomenal’”.

Ms Brand, said: "It is wonderful to receive this outcome and it is especially heartening to know that our improvement journey to become an outstanding school is on track. I would like to thank all of our pupils, staff, parents and carers for their ongoing contribution and commitment.”

Dr John Smith, Chief Executive, University of Brighton Academies Trust, said: "I am delighted with this outcome for the whole Blackthorns community. We are confident that Blackthorns has the potential to achieve an outstanding rating in the near future and look forward to the forthcoming inspection.”