‘Outstanding’ leadership at Larkspur

Mar 17, 2023 | News, Ofsted | 1 comment

A school which was at risk of closure has been rated good by Ofsted and praised for its outstanding leadership and management. 

Larkspur Primary School in Ware was also commended for its high expectations, kind and considerate pupils and supportive staff in its latest inspection report.  

The school, formerly known as Tower Primary School, was rated inadequate by Ofsted in 2017, placed in special measures and given an order to convert to academy status by the Secretary of State for Education. But after discussions with a number of local academy trusts, no viable solution was found and the school was at risk of closure. 

The Department for Education approached the Enfield-based Ivy Learning Trust, which stepped in to provide short term support, and in September 2018, the school joined Ivy permanently under its new name, Larkspur. 

Since then, it has gone from strength to strength, with Ofsted inspectors commending the school’s rapid improvement and positive learning environment. 

The report says: “Larkspur is a warm and welcoming school where pupils are happy and enjoy their learning. Expectations of pupils to learn and achieve as well as they can are high. Pupils’ best interests are at the heart of everything.” 

It adds: “Pupils are kind and considerate towards each other. They learn about important values such as care, honesty and appreciation. They behave well in lessons and around the school. Pupils know that learning is important so they work hard.” 

Kerry McEwan, headteacher at Larkspur, says: “Larkspur is a happy, caring and ambitious school and it is wonderful to see this recognised by Ofsted. The glowing report is testament to the efforts of the whole school community, which has worked tirelessly to transform the school over the past few years and ensure our pupils thrive. We are delighted with this result and extremely proud of our fantastic school.” 

Ivy Learning Trust was formed in 2017 to formalise the close working relationship between two Enfield primary schools. Since then, it has grown to 14 schools, of which 12 are now rated good or outstanding. Nine of its schools are in Hertfordshire. 

In the report, Ofsted praised the tailored support provided by the Trust, adding: “Staff feel valued and appreciate leaders’ support for their wellbeing and workload.” 

Matthew Kleiner-Mann, CEO of Ivy Learning Trust, says: “When we first went to Larkspur, it was in special measures, with declining pupil numbers and a threat of closure. Now it is a warm, welcoming and vibrant place to learn and the school thoroughly deserves this recognition from Ofsted. I would like to congratulate Larkspur staff, pupils, parents and governors on this achievement, and I look forward to seeing the school continue to thrive and provide a great education to children in the community.” 

You can read the full Ofsted report here.