An infant and nursery school in Letchworth has been told it 'requires improvement' following a recent Ofsted visit, despite being rated 'good' in four of the five categories up for inspection.

Icknield Infant and Nursery School had received a 'good' rating during its last full inspection in 2014 - and during a 'short inspection' in 2017 - but was downgraded by Ofsted following an inspection earlier this year.

However, the school continues to be rated good in 'quality of education', 'behaviour and attitudes', 'personal development', and 'early years provision'.

It only received a 'requires improvement' rating in one category, 'leadership and management'.

Under the current inspection framework, the lowest rating given for any of the five categories is used as the overall rating.

Ofsted praised the "calm and happy school", lauding its focus on reading, the quality of education for pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities, and the "positive attitudes to learning" displayed by pupils.

The report provided four areas in which the school could improve:

  1. "Safeguarding record-keeping systems are not giving leaders the information they need to take appropriate actions quickly."
  2. "Governors have not assured themselves that leaders are acting in a timely manner to concerns raised about pupils’ welfare and safety."
  3. "In some subjects, assessment processes are not fully in place, and staff are not systematically checking what pupils have learned and can remember."
  4. "Leaders provide a limited amount of extra-curricular activities."

Since the school's previous inspection, Ofsted's inspection framework has changed and a number of schools across the country have been downgraded.

READ MORE: Primary school downgraded following Ofsted inspection

Many schools have been downgraded by Ofsted in recent years - in November 2022, Ofsted said that it had downgraded more than 80 per cent of the previously 'outstanding' schools it had inspected in 2021/22.

The inspectorate has been criticised recently following the death of Ruth Perry, a headteacher who killed herself after being told that her school in Reading was to be rated 'inadequate'.

In response to the criticism, Amanda Spielman, Ofsted's chief inspector, has said they "are making changes" but that the single-line grading system will continue.

Icknield Infant & Nursery School declined to comment on this article.