Pupils tell Ofsted school so good they don't want to leave

Townley Primary School, in Christchurch, now rated as good by Ofsted 

Townley Primary School, in Christchurch, now rated as good by Ofsted - Credit: Townley

Headteacher Maria-Anna Higgins said she cried with happiness when she read the opening lines of an Ofsted report that said children enjoyed the school so much that they did not want to leave. 

She said: “I’m absolutely delighted. I actually cried when I got the report and saw the opening line, we just cannot ask for better than that, I’m so thrilled. 

“For me, that opening paragraph of the report sums up everything we have been trying to achieve as a school. 

“I’m so proud of our school. Our children are lovely, they are hardworking, they care about each other, they look after each other, they’re fantastic.” 

Townley Primary School, in Christchurch, had been rated as requiring improvement in 2018, but following an inspection earlier this year, the school is now rated as good. 

Mrs Higgins said: “Every member of staff and the governors are driven by the children to do the very best they can to support every child and their family. 

“The school has benefited enormously from the support of the Opportunity Area, who have funded training for staff, resources and experiences for the children. 

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“Most recently they have funded an art project with parents and children, who are working with a local artist to produce a timeline on our school hall. 

“Our local authority and MP Steve Barclay has also supported us, and we couldn’t do it without the continued support of our community, who are always there supporting us, keeping us at the heart of their community.” 

Looking ahead, Mrs Higgins said that herself and staff members are also now working with other schools to share with them what has been working well. 

The provision for children with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities (SEND) was also highlighted as a strength. 

“Leaders ensure that the plans for pupils with SEND are appropriate and delivered well by highly trained staff,” Ofsted concluded. 

“Pupils are taught using a variety of methods that give them confidence to share their new learning. Pupils with SEND access the leaders’ intended curriculum and - with effective, appropriately planned guidance and support - achieve well.”  

Inspectors also praised the school’s governors – all of whom had joined the school since its previous inspection in 2018, when it required improvement.