Pupils, staff and governors at Cledford Primary School are celebrating after they retained their ‘good school’ status during the recent ‘Ofsted’ inspection.  Elizabeth Stevens, HMI, praises the school’s ‘nurturing and inclusive ethos’ and its values of ‘respect, responsibility and resilience: ‘pupils described how they learn to say ‘we can’t do it … yet’ when tackling challenges.  They learn to be resilient learners who persevere in order to succeed.’   

Staff in the school were commended for providing ‘a warm and nurturing environment’ and for planning ‘engaging and exciting events to enthuse pupils and deepen their learning’. Relationships in the school were celebrated: ‘staff treat pupils with care and kindness.’

It was noted that ‘pupils show pride and care in their work’, that they ‘enjoy their learning and are keen to try their best to succeed’.  Behaviour in the school was judged to be good:  ‘teachers set high expectations for pupils’ behaviour in lessons, which helps pupils to make good progress and achieve well’. 

The governing board in the school received a highly positive report; described as ‘dedicated and knowledgeable,’ governors provide ‘a good balance of support and challenge for leaders’.

The inspectors asked the school to improve even further by: 

‘Embedding recent changes to the teaching of reasoning and problem-solving in maths’ 

Making sure that ‘an even greater proportion of pupils are working at greater depth in their writing’

Ensuring that all subject leaders ‘know the strengths and weaknesses in the school of their area of responsibility’

‘I am proud to work with such a hard-working and talented team of staff and governors.  Our pupils presented themselves to inspectors the way they do every day – well mannered, keen to learn and fun!  We are all delighted that the report recognises the care and individual support given to learners and carers at Cledford by everyone on the team.  The nurturing, inclusive and resilient school described is exactly what we have aspired to be.’  Mrs J Booth, Federation Headteacher

Please click on the attached link for the Ofsted website:




The school was subject to a short  (one day) inspection on 27th November 2018.  Mrs Denah Jones, a secondary maths specialist, visited the school;  she was accompanied by one of her majesty's inspectors (HMI) for quality assurance purposes.  

Following the inspection the school retained its current judgement of 'good', including an 'outstanding' grade for both behaviour and safety and for leadership. 

The inspector praised the school's values, pupil behaviour and relationships between pupils and staff.  Good leadership was noted, including safeguarding pupils and supporting as well as challenging staff.  

Parents described teaching and learning in the school as 'excellent' and expressed their appreciation  of the ‘holistic approach the school takes towards children’s wellbeing as well as academic progress’.

The inspector expressed her concern about pupil absence.   She praised the extensive work of leaders to encourage good attendance and to tackle persistent absentees but noted  that 'pupils’ attendance continues to be below the national average, and the proportion of pupils who are persistently absent, although reducing, is still above the national average'.  Ofsted have asked the school to make improving attendance a priority. 

The inspector noted a fall in the proportion of Y6 pupils meeting expected standard in 2018 and has asked the school to ensure that recent initiatives to improve standards in writing and maths are sustained so that all pupils achieve well.  She also asked the school to further develop the role of new subject leaders in the wider curriculum so that they 'have an even greater impact on improving teaching, learning and assessment in their subject area'.  Mrs Jones asked leaders to review the school's action plan so that targets are more measurable. 

You can read the full letter resulting from the short inspection here. 



Please find attached a copy of our most recent Ofsted Report (June 2014).

Ofsted Inspection 3rd & 4th June 2014

The school is judged to be ‘good’ overall with both leadership and behaviour described as ‘outstanding’:

‘Pupils feel extremely safe and well cared for in school. They have excellent attitudes to learning and behave exceptionally well.’

Ofsted describe our school improvement work as outstanding:

‘The school has made rapid progress in bringing improvement since the previous inspection.’

Ofsted judge progress to be good, with children building on their good start in reception. Progress in reading is particularly praised, as is our work with pupils of GRT heritage and our efforts to ‘close the gap’ for children eligible for pupil premium. The inspectors identified progress in writing as a development point:

Progress has accelerated considerably in Year 3 to 6 also, since the previous inspection, as the school’s plans to bring this about take effect. Accurate school assessments and pupils’ work show that current standards are above average in reading and mathematics. Although standards in writing are improving well, school leaders recognise that they could be raised further.’

The inspectors graded the quality of teaching in school as ‘good’, describing typical classroom activities as ‘lively and interesting’:

‘Teaching quality has improved rapidly over the past year. There has been a relentless focus on pupils’ progress. This has led to better use of assessment, more regular checking of pupils’ work and better planning to cater for pupils’ varying needs and interests.’

‘Teaching is of a consistently good standard throughout the school and sometimes outstanding. Pupils say that they learn something new every day and that their teachers help them a lot.’

The work of our teaching assistants was particularly praised and the impact they make on pupil progress commented on:

The work of teaching assistants is a crucial factor in pupils’ good learning. They are well trained to give the support pupils need. They manage their work with skill and sensitivity for pupils’ individual needs.’

The management of teaching and learning is particularly praised; inspectors note that the school provides good training and support to staff in order to constantly improve teaching and that leaders hold teaching staff to account for their performance:

‘Central to the school’s rapid improvement is leaders’ outstanding management of teaching and learning. The quality of work in classrooms is checked robustly. Staff are given first-class guidance about how their work can improve as well as the support and training they need to achieve leaders’ high expectations. These are underpinned by the Teachers’ Standards. All teachers are aware that they are accountable for pupils’ progress and that salary progression is linked to classroom performance.’

Ofsted judge behaviour and safety in school as ‘outstanding’. They praise pupils’ attitude to learning and the work of the school to keep children safe:

‘Pupils’ eagerness to learn and their love of school underpin the rapid improvement in their progress and achievement.’

‘They are attentive in lessons, have the greatest respect for their teachers and are always willing to test their ideas with others and help each other out.’

Ofsted judge the quality of leadership and management to be ‘outstanding’, praising leaders at all levels, including governors, for their determined focus on improvement:

The headteacher and other senior leaders are a highly effective team. They check the school’s work incisively and are very quick to put plans in place to provide all pupils with the best learning opportunities. Plans to raise achievement in reading and mathematics are successful and a more recent focus on writing is beginning to show results throughout the school. Leaders now plan to check the impact of their plans for writing, and of staff training, to be certain that standards reach the school’s expectations.’

In order to bring about further improvement, inspectors asked the school to:

Raise standards in writing to match those achieved in reading and mathematics by:

  • maximizing the impact of current training and the plans for improvement already in place and checking regularly to make sure that they are working effectively
  • using the most successful practice in the school as a model for all writing lessons
  • making sure that the most able pupils are challenged consistently
  • providing more opportunities, across all subjects, for pupils to apply the skills of good quality writing that they learn in English lessons.’


The full report is available to view on the Ofsted site, by clicking the link below:





Cledford Primary School, George VI Ave, Middlewich, CW10 0DD