School leaders vow improvements after Richmond primary gets ‘inadequate’ rating

Trinity Academy Richmond.

Leaders at Trinity Academy Richmond have vowed to make improvements after the school was rated ‘inadequate’ by Ofsted inspectors.

The judgement from the education watchdog came after a two-day inspection in February.

The Ofsted report concluded: “This school, now under new leadership, shows the capacity for improvement.

“However, there are weaknesses that need to be addressed quickly.

“Pupils have not had the chance to achieve as well as they should.

“This is because leaders have not thought carefully enough about how to organise pupils’ learning.

“Over time, improvements have been too slow.”

The report added that pupils told inspectors that bullying did happen at school.

“They say that some adults deal with it quickly, but not all.

“They know there can be different types of bullying. They know how to stay safe online, around water and when crossing the road.

“Children in the early years are well looked after but do not receive a curriculum that helps them to get off to a positive start.”

Ofsted found that leaders had low expectations of what children could achieve.

“Pupils do not have access to a wide, rich set of experiences.

“There are limited opportunities for pupils to develop their interests or talents.

“While some pupils find it hard to talk about what they like at school, they were clear that they feel safe and happy.”

There was, however, praise for the children for their positive relationships and it was noted that they are “happy” and “enjoy activities given to them”.

In addition, through the survey that Ofsted asks parents to complete during the inspection, 100 per cent of parents who responded said they would recommend the school and that their child feels happy and safe there.

They inspectors also found that the “school, now under new leadership, shows the capacity for improvement”, “there are signs that weaknesses are being quickly addressed” and “the new interim headteacher has quickly identified key priorities.

“He has started to make the necessary improvements”.

Simon Robson, the school’s interim executive headteacher, said: “We do not shy away from the fact that this was a very difficult inspection.

“We shared with the inspector the issues that we were already addressing and dealing with under our new leadership structure, and their conclusions rightly mirrored many of our own concerns.

“While it is pleasing that the inspectors noted that changes are being made with pace and purpose, the reality is that our brilliant children and community deserve the very best – and the standards that our school and our Trust demands of ourselves had simply not been consistently met.”

It was announced earlier this week that a new headteacher has been appointed at the school

The appointment of Carys Barnett comes after previous head Kathryn Williamson left the school in December to become an Ofsted inspector.

Damian Chubb, CEO of the Dales Academies Trust, which runs the school, said: “Changes have, and will continue to be, made. What is important, however, is that change is not made for change’s sake.

“The trust has recently had a significant number of Ofsted inspections in other trust schools which have all concluded positively. The curriculum in each school has, for example, been praised, but it fell short for Richmond.

“This Ofsted outcome simply shouldn’t have happened, and our entire trust is more focused than ever to make sure that we address it for our brilliant children and community.

“We are removing barriers, improving training and making sure that all of our dedicated and talented staff have the same expectations and consistency.

“Our new headteacher, Mrs Barnett, will help to build on the strong platform that Mr Robson has laid to ensure that the positive trajectory that we are now on leads to long lasting change.”

You can read the Ofsted report in full here.


  1. Anyone else see the irony in that the problems are indirectly being reported as being because of poor previous leadership. And yet the previous head left to join Ofsted to inspect other schools! There’s something badly wrong with systems in our Education provision both at school level and govt inspection services. This typifies the crazy world we’re living in!

  2. This school has limped along for a few years, and even the headteacher that has left, made no improvements ( according to Oates) and yet leaves her post to become an Ofsted Inspector! There is nothing wrong with this school, the problem lies with Ofsted!

  3. Trinity Academy is a lovely school with lovely children. Parents and governors need to get together .

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