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Nov 9, 2021

Barclay Primary judged Outstanding by Ofsted

Justin James, Executive Headteacher and CEO of the Trust said “This new framework is tough - and evidencing how the school meets the Outstanding criteria is a really challenging benchmark to achieve. I am extremely proud of every member of the team at Barclay who continue to work tirelessly to make every lesson, in every setting, the very best that it can be. I believe we are the first school to retain the Outstanding rating locally - and look forward to working with all the schools in the Trust to ensure that the practices and disciplines required to meet and sustain these levels of excellence and further embedded in every location.”

The inspection took place on 6-9th October and was a s.8 inspection under the new Ofsted framework. Inspectors looked at all aspects of the 1,400 place primary school, across both sites and spent time with children, staff and trustees to gauge how well the school was performing.

Tom Mitchell, Head of School commented: “It is always a tough process to go through and I can’t thank the staff enough for being there as they always are. Our real stars however are the pupils at Barclay Primary - their ability to talk compellingly about their learning and how they are shaping their own progress in school is a hallmark of the independent, highly confident learners we are developing here and across the Trust.”

A core feature of the Ofsted feedback was to single out the Trust-wide Lion Pathways Curriculum - a structured, detailed and content-rich scaffold which is proven to reduce teacher workload and directly support teachers to make informed decisions around tailoring their lessons to meet the needs of every child in their classes. 

Justin James went on to add: “We welcome the opportunity to share our experiences of the new framework with any primary school leadership team - including what core components of our pedagogy and school organisation directly supported the Outstanding judgement. It all starts and ends with teachers doing what teachers do best - but with the right support and structures in place to make this work for every child in every lesson.”

This achievement is further cast into sharp relief by the expectations voiced by Amanda Spielman at Ofsted that only “1 in 10” schools are realistically likely to be ‘Outstanding’.  The Lion Academy Trust welcomes the recognition that our pedagogy and school organisation is outstanding  and we look forward to developing further outstanding academies in every community we serve. 

To find out more about how Barclay Primary School and the Lion Academy Trust are blazing the trail for an outstanding primary education, contact Christopher Stark on  

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