Ofsted

Van Gogh out of Durand’s shadow with ‘good’ Ofsted

Lambeth primary school praised as 'warm and nurturing' over six years after its predecessor school was rated 'inadequate'

Lambeth primary school praised as 'warm and nurturing' over six years after its predecessor school was rated 'inadequate'

A London primary school that replaced the scandal-hit Durand Academy has been rated 'good' by Ofsted

A London primary school that replaced the scandal-hit Durand Academy has been rated ‘good’ by Ofsted, just over six years after its predecessor plunged to ‘inadequate’.

Van Gogh Primary School in Lambeth, south London, was opened by the Dunraven Educational Trust in 2018 after the government’s funding agreement with the Durand Academy Trust was terminated.

Its first Ofsted report described the school as “warm and nurturing where pupils are happy and enjoy their learning”. Inspectors added there was “a growing sense of the school being at the heart of the community”.

Durand Academy was rated ‘inadequate’ in 2016, with Ofsted warning of “weak leadership and governance” that did not have “the capacity to challenge deficiencies and drive the necessary improvements”.

The government also raised concerns over the school’s finances and potential conflicts of interest.

Sir Greg Martin, the school’s former chair and executive head, was paid more than £400,000 by the trust and through management fees from a company that ran leisure facilities on the site.

When the school closed in 2018, the land and buildings were handed over to Dunraven, but a lengthy legal battle over the leisure centre land, and accommodation on the site continued for years.

School has seen ‘significant, positive change’

Durand Education Trust, a private company linked to the school, lost its last bid for compensation for the facilities last year.

Nadine Bernard
Nadine Bernard

Van Gogh’s report, published this week, described the school as ‘good’ in every aspect. Pupils and families were given regular opportunities to share learning experiences, the inspectors said.

Leaders organised regular coffee mornings, with parents and carers invited to “rock up and read” with children in the early years.

Meanwhile, “the commitment and decision-making” from leaders had resulted in “significant, positive change, including the quality of education on offer”.

Nadine Bernard, Van Gogh’s headteacher, said it was a “privilege” to lead the school.

“I am so glad the inspection outcome recognised the work we have put in each day to provide this community and its children with the educational experience they deserve.”

Dunraven’s CEO, David Boyle, said: “We’re delighted as a trust to have played a part in returning the school to its community and creating a great educational experience for the children in the process.”

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