MP Tim Farron supports Windermere primary school after ‘inadequate’ rating from Ofsted

AN MP has spoken out in support of a Catholic primary school after it was hit with an ‘inadequate’ rating following Ofsted inspections in February and May this year, despite the reports noting that it was “a small, nurturing and cohesive school”.

After hearing the news South Lakes MP Tim Farron has come out in support of the the award-winning St Cuthbert’s Catholic Primary School, Windermere after he was sent a letter by Ofsted to say about the re-inspection due to lack of evidence. St Cuthbert’s was named Best Primary School in Cumbria in the 2022 Golden Apple Awards.

“St Cuthbert’s in an excellent school, it brings immense value to the area, it’s multicultural, and it’s now been accepted as a safe school,” Mr Farron told The Westmorland Gazette.

“Inspection is important however in this instance I feel Ofsted hasn’t got it right the first time around and the school should now be re-classified overall.”

The report, published on 30th June, noted that pupils felt safe and that St Cuthbert’s, which is part of the Mater Christi Trust, is a “calm and pleasant place to be each and every day”. Safeguarding was also rated as “effective” but the Ofsted report noted “a period of leadership instability, low expectations and a weak curriculum have led to a decline in the quality of education that pupils receive” and that the pace of change was too slow.

Head teacher Lucy Bone, who had assumed the role seven weeks before the initial inspection defended the school and told the Westmorland Gazette that changes were already under way. Both Lucy and Mater Christi Trust CEO, Jacky Kennedy, also questioned the way the re-inspection was handled, which they say was only limited in its scope and didn’t consider data showing academic results above the national average.

“Ofsted righted some of the wrongs in our opinion, which we are very grateful for,” said Kennedy.

“[But] The published report doesn’t state there was an error in the inspection process. The initial safeguarding issue was some steps but this was overturned for lack of evidence.  Parents thankfully know their children are safe here. We made the changes quickly and we happily welcome inspectors back soon.”

“I’d be more than happy for my children to go to St Cuthbert’s,” added Tim Farron, who has been a regular visitor to the school.

Story by William Kelly , The Catholic Network