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Ofsted chief choses Murrayfield as ‘star pupil’

21 Jan Ofsted chief choses Murrayfield as ‘star pupil’

Ofsted, the body responsible for inspecting standards in English schools, has chosen Ipswich’s Murrayfield Primary Academy as the place to launch its annual report.
Murrayfield, a Paradigm Trust school, welcomed Ofsted’s chief inspector Amanda Spielman and television camera crews to the school, ahead of her speech to an audience of education professionals, local authority representatives and policy experts in Westminster.

Ofsted said it chose Murrayfield because of the dramatic transformation that has taken place since Paradigm Trust took over management of the school in 2017. Previously judged to be failing, its latest report from Ofsted rates Murrayfield as ‘good’. The report highlights teachers’ high expectations of what pupils should be able to do in a wide range of subjects. Lessons, Ofsted found, are interesting because teachers are confident in their knowledge of the subjects they teach.

The report also notes that the school’s subject leaders have benefited from being able to work with other leaders across Paradigm Trust.

Murrayfield principal Neil Winn said: “We are thrilled that Ofsted chose Murrayfield as the launch pad for its annual report. It’s a vindication of what we’ve been doing here and recognition for the efforts of pupils, parents and staff.
“In the three years since Paradigm Trust took over the management of Murrayfield, we’ve made huge progress. The entire mood of the school is different now. Pupils are much more focused on learning and our parents have given us lots of support. There’s a still a way to go, but we can be proud of what we achieved.”

Ofsted felt that Murrayfield’s focus on its curriculum and its prioritisation of reading were good examples for other schools. The inspectorate said this ‘chimed well’ with messages contained in its annual report.

Bill Holledge, Paradigm’s CEO, said: “Our vision is to develop and sustain great schools where we can make the biggest difference to pupils. Murrayfield is a wonderful example of what that vision looks like in real life.”

Speaking about her visit to Murrayfield, Amanda Spielman, Ofsted’s chief inspector, said: “Murrayfield is just a very lovely school. It was great to be able to see the children at work and reading so well. I was also pleased to see such a well-thought-through curriculum in action and the staff pulling together and having that shared vision of what they can achieve.

“Each year, when we film for the launch of our report, we choose a school that’s really interesting to highlight. I asked our inspectors to name a school that had been inspected under our new framework that had been particularly interesting and good and they suggested Murrayfield.”

This is the first Ofsted annual report to be published since its new framework for school inspections was introduced last year. Murrayfield was one of the first schools to be inspected under the new regime.

Paradigm Trust manages two other Ipswich schools: Ipswich Academy and Piper’s Vale Primary. The trust also runs three high performing primary schools in London and is regularly invited to provide support to other schools and trusts.