See our most recent Ofsted report below. Click here to visit Ofsted's website for previous reports prior to academy conversion and here for post academy conversion reports and Parent View, where you can register your views about the school.

Ofsted inspection: a message from Claire Kirkpatrick, Chair of Governors

17 May 2018

Dear parents / carers,

I want to explain some important changes we are making at Dean School to improve the ways we teach and look after your children, and how the school is run, following the recent Ofsted inspection.

The Ofsted Inspector visited in March and found Dean to be a happy, friendly, well-behaved school with strong values, and evidence that outcomes for pupils are improving in many areas:

  • Our Key Stage 2 results are above the national average in reading, spelling, grammar, punctuation and science.
  • Our Key Stage 1 assessments have showed improved performance in 2017.
  • In Early Years, we “provide children with a broad range of activities which excite and engage them,” and the needs of our two-year-olds are well met.

However, the Inspector found weaknesses in leadership and management, early years provision, governance and safeguarding policies and procedures, leading to an overall rating of “inadequate” for our school. This is very disappointing for all of us.

Since the inspection, the school governors and staff have been working hard with the Local Authority (Cumbria County Council) and the Diocese of Carlisle (as we are a Church of England School) on an improvement plan to tackle every issue raised by the Inspector, and to make Dean School the great school we know it can be.

In order to implement the improvement plan, we are making the following key changes with immediate effect:

  • We welcome Mrs Samantha Kidd, to work with Mr Fasham to oversee leadership of the school and delivery of the improvement plan while maintaining the school’s happy, friendly atmosphere for our children. Mrs Kidd is an experienced Executive Head Teacher and Head Teacher at Dearham School, which is rated as ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted.
  • We also welcome Mr Andrew Young, a specialist in Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), to lead our Nursery and Reception classes and raise standards in teaching and learning for our youngest pupils. He will be working alongside our existing staff
  • We will be introducing a new scheme for teaching Modern Foreign Languages as part of the curriculum.
  • We have reviewed all safeguarding policies and procedures and we have already implemented changes to ensure we now have a ‘best practice’ approach. I must stress that children are safe at Dean School; the weaknesses were with our policies and procedures, not safety itself. All staff and governors have had additional safeguarding training since the inspection, and we have also brought in Kym Allan Health & Safety Consultants, external specialists in school safeguarding, to keep our policies under review from now on.
  • We have commissioned an independent external review of our Board of Governors and will act on all recommendations to make the Board more effective.
  • We are recruiting an additional Governor with specific knowledge and experience of safeguarding and Human Resources in schools, to ensure continued focus on this area.

We have also reviewed the whole way Dean School is run, from top to bottom, and in September 2018 we will be moving to the following class structure:

  • Class 1: Early Years, led by Mr Young and Mrs Mansfield, supported by the current team but with more separation between Nursery and Reception classes.
  • Class 2: Years 1 and 2, led by Miss Brimelow (Senior Teacher).
  • Class 3: Years 3, 4 and 5, led by Miss Bryant, with additional support for Year 5 pupils in English and Mathematics to help prepare them for Year 6.
  • Class 4: Year 6, led by a new Key Stage 2 specialist (currently being recruited), to focus on giving our leavers the best possible preparation for the transition to secondary school.

You can find the full Ofsted report, and our improvement plan, on this website page. If you would like a printed copy, please contact the school office.

Academy order

As a result of the Ofsted rating, our School must also now become an Academy. This means that management of the school will move from the Local Authority to an Academy Trust.

As a Church of England School we will join the Good Shepherd Multi Academy Trust, operated by the Diocese of Carlisle. The Trust already successfully runs five schools in Cumbria, including Lorton and Braithwaite primary schools. We work closely with the Diocese so we know we will be in good hands.

I will write to you again when I have more information about how and when the transition to Academy status will take place. The school will also let you know about staff news, including our new Class 4 teacher, as soon as we can, along with regular updates on our progress.

In the meantime, if you have any questions at all, please don’t hesitate to ask. Mr Fasham, Mrs Kidd or I would be happy to explain further, or discuss any concerns you might have; you can contact us through the school office, or of course you can talk to your child’s class teacher in the usual way.

As a governor, as a parent, and as a former pupil myself, I know Dean School is a happy, welcoming, thriving school. With these changes, we now have all the ingredients, and the direction, to be a great school. I want to assure you that everyone here is committed to helping every child achieve their potential and be the very best they can be.

Yours sincerely

Mrs Claire Kirkpatrick
Chair of Governors, Dean Church of England School