A PRIMARY school previously rated “outstanding” has been rated “good” by Ofsted following its first inspection from the education watchdog in nearly 16 years.

The Robert Drake Primary School, in Church Road, Thundersley, has been rated “good” in all areas after an inspection on February 6 and 7.

This is the first time the school has been rated since 2008, when it received the highest possible rating of “outstanding”.

A recent study revealed that since 2020, Ofsted estimates it inspected 1,136 previously “outstanding” schools and four out of five schools dropped from the top grade.

However, bosses at the school say the inspection criteria now is far more challenging.

Natalie Jackson, co-headteacher at The Robert Drake Primary School, said: “We are incredibly proud of the many strengths and positives highlighted in our latest Ofsted report.

“Our last Ofsted inspection was 16 years ago and graded under a very different framework, which cannot be compared to the new, more challenging framework.

“Children and parents have been hugely supportive of the positive changes that have been made since the appointment of our co-headteachers last year.

“We are pleased to see many of these recognised in Ofsted’s report, including the kindness and respect shown by children.”

At the time of the inspection, there were 315 pupils at the school, all aged between four and 11.

The report, published on Friday, stated: “The Robert Drake Primary School is a happy and friendly place to learn. Pupils learn a curriculum that builds on what they already know and stretches them further.

“Pupils enjoy their lessons and achieve well. Pupils value the warm relationships they develop with their teachers. This helps them to feel safe. They know there is always someone to speak to if they have worries.”

“Pupils embrace the school’s ethos. They know the school’s motto ‘everyone is special, different and unique’.

“Pupils behave well. They know how they should behave and live up to leaders’ expectations. This creates a calm atmosphere across the school.”

One area of improvement given by Ofsted is that “teachers do not always identify gaps in pupils’ learning”.

The report added: “This means that staff sometimes plan activities that do not build effectively on what pupils already know and can do.

“The school needs to ensure that in all subjects, staff check effectively what pupils know and can do and use this to inform their planning and teaching.”