Ofsted praise for St Margaret of Scotland Primary School in Luton

A catholic primary school in Luton is celebrating a positive Ofsted inspection.

By Lynn Hughes
Friday, 22nd April 2022, 2:13 pm

St Margaret of Scotland Catholic Primary School in Luton was found to be good in most areas and outstanding in the personal development of its pupils.

In 2018 the school, on Rotheram Avenue in Luton, had been judged to ‘require improvement’.

A school spokesman said: “The Ofsted report is a pleasure to read and celebrates the many great qualities that define the school as it is today. Particularly pleasing is the reflection that the personal development of pupils is ‘Outstanding’. The report highlights the fact that St Margaret’s is a school where: ‘Staff care for students exceptionally well’, ‘Pupils respond well to teachers’ high expectations’, ‘Teachers and leaders are ambitious for all pupils’ and ‘Pupils are caring, kind and know right from wrong’.

Staff and pupils at St Margaret of Scotland catholic primary school are celebrating a positive Ofsted report - Photo Jonny Back

“These are all fine accolades of course, but none of them have come about by chance. They are the result of flare, ambition, grit, and determination on the part of Headteacher Gabrielle Somes, her leadership team, teachers, support staff and those responsible for governance.”

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St Margaret of Scotland is part of the St Thomas Catholic Academies Trust in the Diocese of Northampton. Joe Richardson, Strategic Executive Leader of the St Thomas Catholic Academies Trust, said: “The way we seek to support our schools to improve is important – so important we call it the STCAT Way! We firmly believe the capacity to achieve great things lies in each one of us and that was reflected in the way we provided the space and confidence school leaders needed in order to improve this now great school.

"One of the great fears of schools that join Academy Trusts, is that in some way they will be ‘done to’, lose their identity and lose their professional integrity. Nothing could be further from the truth in our Trust; we are thrilled that colleagues at St Margaret of Scotland Primary School can step back and genuinely say, ‘We did that’. That is the way you build sustainable schools and that is the way we work in our Academy Trust. We are incredibly proud of the team at St Margaret’s, they have achieved a great deal and have crafted a beautiful school”.

Offering advice for further improvement, Ofsted inspector Paul Wilson said that in a small number of subjects leaders had not identified what they wanted children to know by the end of the time in their early years. He also said many of the teachers had joined after the 2018 Ofsted report.

“Occasionally, some teachers are not clear about the knowledge that they intend pupils to learn from an activity. When this occurs, pupils remember the activity, but not the important subject knowledge that leaders intended. This leads to inconsistencies in how effectively the curriculum is implemented,” he said.

There were also concerns about a small number of pupils are absent from school too often. “These pupils miss out on learning. Leaders should continue to develop strategies and work with families to reduce persistent absence further.,” said Mr Wilson.