A school in Bushey has been told its quality of education requires improvement in a “hugely disappointing” Ofsted report.

Longwood School was graded ‘requires improvement’ by inspectors yesterday (November 30) after being assessed over two days in October.

Following the report, the school’s headteacher Claire May has written to parents saying that she believes it is in fact a ‘good’ school and felt the grading was “harsh”.

Despite finding pupils’ behaviour and attitudes as well as personal development to be ‘good’, ‘requires improvement’ findings in the early years provision, leadership and management, and quality of education categories landed it with the second lowest rating overall.

Children at the private primary school in Bushey Hall Drive “are articulate and capable of achieving highly”, the inspectors said.

However, they found that too many older children read slowly and without fluency or expression, meaning they do not understand what they read as well as they could.

Watford Observer: Longwood SchoolLongwood School (Image: Google Street View)

Teachers either “skim over” these issues or “arrange unhelpful activities”, the report added. At other times children apparently complete work that is too easy when they are ready to move on.

Inspectors said that, when some pupils underperformed in tests, leaders decided to change the test used rather than investigate what might need addressing.

They acknowledged that the school is developing its curriculum but claimed the pace of change is “too slow” and said that leaders should make it more specific.

The school was, however, praised for its sense of community “cherished” by pupils and parents. Ofsted noted how pupils enjoy the school’s extracurricular activities and benefit from cultural experiences like trips.

Full report available to read here

The kids were found to behave pleasantly and politely, and leaders and staff have positive relationships with pupils and parents.

In the letter to parents, the headteacher said she was delighted with the ‘good’ areas but admitted the assessment of other categories was “hugely disappointing”.

The letter explained that the school “is in no way complacent or denying that we have work to do” and said that areas for improvement have been taken on board.

Mrs May did still push back on some of the inspectors’ points, highlighting areas such as pupil tracking data that were not looked at, and added: “I hope you will agree that Longwood continues to be a good school.”