Elliston Primary Academy in North East Lincolnshire, which is part of the Enquire Learning Trust (ELT), has been judged to be outstanding in every category in its latest Ofsted inspection.  


This outstanding judgment is even more noteworthy because, prior to this, the school was judged to require improvement by Ofsted in 2013 before it became part of ELT. 


Principal, Mrs Caroline Patterson, joined Elliston Primary Academy in 2014.  Her goal for an outstanding judgment may have seemed ambitious but reflected her determination to turn the school around. 

This was echoed in the report when Ofsted noted that ‘’staff have high expectations and an unwavering belief that pupils can and should make excellent progress.’


Ofsted inspectors said ‘Leaders know their school well. Their impressive depth of knowledge is clearly reflected in the accuracy of their evaluation of the school as well as in the clear pathway forward identified in the school improvement plan.’


The report goes on to say ‘the Principal and Vice Principal have a very strong vision for the future of the school. Their determination to ensure that pupils make as much progress as possible during their time in school underpins all that they do.’


One of the big issues highlighted in the previous Ofsted inspection was the quality of teaching and learning and the need to encourage higher expectations which has been addressed since Mrs Patterson joined the school.


The report emphasised the amount of improvement the school has made since the last Ofsted inspection and especially the progress for those who have been disadvantaged. 

Ofsted inspectors also noted that ‘Outcomes for pupils are outstanding. From very low starting points, pupils often make exceptional progress across the school. The current progress made by disadvantaged pupils is exceeding that of peers in the school and others nationally. This clearly shows that differences between disadvantaged pupils’ progress and the progress of other groups are diminishing at a fast pace.’


Mrs Patterson, Principal of Elliston Primary Academy, said: “Having trust in my staff has been key. I allow them to do their job and don’t control them. They are trusted to be the best they can be and since becoming Principal of the school I give them the freedom to take risks. 


“We share the belief with ELT that every child can be a successful learner regardless of barriers and many of our children deserve and need extra support. We constantly show our children that they really matter, that they have a voice—and every member of staff buys into that concept.”


Darren Holmes, Chief Executive of ELT, said: ‘‘All our schools share the same vision and our children are part of a learning community where the pursuit of excellence is central to its purpose.  There is a lot of school to school work, which is very supportive. We give our Principals autonomy but are always there for them to provide support when needed and this has helped us make vast improvements.

“Caroline has shown how hard work and determination pays off. Since joining the school she has made fantastic improvements and deserves our wholehearted congratulations. She has been quick to identify issues and develop ways to make improvements with our support and these have been recognised by Ofsted. It really is a great achievement.”


ELT is one of the largest primary only academy trusts in England, currently sponsoring 26 academies which operate from three hubs in the North, East and West of England. With a commitment to ensuring that every child is a successful learner, no matter what, ELT has earned a national reputation for its outstanding contribution to raising standards and improving outcomes for its children.