Parents defend school in Hemel Hempstead after Ofsted rates it 'inadequate'

A letter from parents and carers at Chaulden Infants’ and Nursery School insist the Ofsted rating is designed to force it into academy status.

Tuesday, 10th May 2022, 4:15 pm
Updated Tuesday, 10th May 2022, 4:35 pm

Chaulden Infants’ and Nursery School in Hemel Hempstead has been rated as inadequate by Ofsted inspectors, but parents insist that is a “good school”.

The Ofsted report, which was published today (May 10), says that the school is ‘inadequate’ after being inspected on January 13 and 14 this year.

The school’s headteacher said she is disappointment but has moved to assure everyone that the well-being and safety of the children is their main focus and that it is using the recommendations from the Ofsted report.

Sign up to our daily Hemel Today newsletter

Chaulden Infants’ and Nursery School in Hemel Hempstead has been rated as inadequate by Ofsted inspectors, but a letter from parents insists that is a ‘good school’.

Jackie Hood said: “We are obviously extremely disappointed with the ‘inadequate’ rating following our recent Ofsted inspection. The Governors and staff will continue to work closely with the local authority.”

She was pleased that inspectors acknowledged that pupils are friendly, happy, well-behaved, feel safe and enjoy attending school.

But the report stated: “Too many pupils are not fluent, confident readers by the time they leave the school. Leaders have been too slow to put in place a suitable systematic synthetic phonics programme.”

Read More

Read More
Primary School Places: Here are the Ofsted ratings for Dacorum schools

And it acknowledged: “Pupils in the speech and language base are not having their educational needs met. Pupils are well cared for, but leaders are not clear about what they want these pupils to learn.”

But inspectors said: “Pupils talk happily about their time in school. They like to learn and they try hard to remember what they have been taught. However, pupils need leaders to ensure that the curriculum allows them all to achieve their best.”

In a letter to councillors and MPs, parents from Chaulden Infants’ and Nursery School said that they want an investigation into the report as they have been left shocked and appalled by its findings.

The letter says that the parents and guardians feel the government target for all schools to become academies by 2030 is “the reason our school was assessed to be inadequate”.

"(It is) less to do with the overall effectiveness of the school and has more to do with forcing it to become an academy,” the letter states.

Parents, who Ofsted said are overwhelmingly positive about the school, attended a meeting with the governors and the leadership team on May 3 and discussions were held over actions that the school would take.

“They did not explain the report. Of course, they could not, as our school is not inadequate. Tania Rawle (Head of School Standards and Accountability) from Hertfordshire County Council did explain that the main outcome of this report is that the school is to become an academy,” the letter reads.

Headteacher, Ms Hood, added: “A school is automatically issued with an Academy Order when it is judged inadequate by Ofsted and will be sponsored by an academy trust. Which academy trust the school will join is determined by the Regional Schools Commissioners. The local authority has a legal obligation to facilitate the transfer and the Governors will work closely with them through this.”