MP Lucy Frazer celebrates Ofsted success at both Witchford and Soham Village Colleges with visits together with education bosses

Lucy Frazer MP visits Soham Village College to congratulate pupils and staff on a good Ofsted. She i

Lucy Frazer MP visits Soham Village College to congratulate pupils and staff on a good Ofsted. She is pictured centre with back from left: Jon Hampson, Katie Compton, Danielle Kerry, Dr Carin Taylor, Zev Bennun Cooper and Katie Kirkpatrick. Front from left: Tim Coulson, Eleanor Hague, Lucy Frazer, Sam Jarvis and Paul Brooker. - Credit: Archant

MP Lucy Frazer and education bosses have praised Soham Village College during a fact finding mission and visit to celebrate the success of the college in its recent Ofsted report.

Ms Frazer together with regional schools commissioner, Tim Coulson, and the regional director of Ofsted, Paul Brooker, spent time meeting with principal Dr Carin Taylor, head of school Jon Hampson as well as chatting with pupils.

The South East Cambs MP had earlier today (Friday) visited Witchford Village College with Mr Brooker to also celebrate its Ofsted success.

Speaking after the Soham visit Mr Brooker praised the staff and pupils and said that it and the college at Witchford had both been “on a bit of journey” to become rated ‘good’ by Ofsted.

He was particularly impressed with the way the Soham school had tackled the issue of helping pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds progress.

He said the school had done great work to help those pupils adding: “Disadvantaged pupils at Soham had made proper progress.”

He said the school was a good example of what can be achieved with the extra funding given through the pupil premium being used properly and with the right encouragement and support being given.

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Mr Brooker agreed the issue of disadvantaged pupils was a challenge in Cambridgeshire and the Soham school was an example of what can be achieved.

Mr Coulson said he had followed Soham Village College’s journey from a school requiring improvement following an Ofsted inspection in May 2013 to its rating as ‘good’ at an inspection last December.

He said: “I know this school quite well, I have followed its progress over the last three years. I know staff felt a bit hard done by following the 2013 report, but they have really worked hard. They believed in the school and the leadership and they deserve the ‘good’ rating. It is something to be celebrated and so well done to them. The pupils are proud of their school and they are delighted that Ofsted now recognises what they already believed about it.”

Ms Frazer said there is often a lot of negativity around schools and education so she was delighted to have a chance to celebrate good news for the two schools.

She said it was a pleasure to see the pride the pupils have in their schools and praised the staff for their hard work.

Dr Taylor said her meeting with Ms Frazer had been very positive. They had discussed the issue of funding, which she said was not a problem at the college currently, but could become one within the next couple of years if something was not done.

She said: “There is insufficient funding in all schools, it is not always possible to appoint sufficient staff to deliver the curriculum. It is not an acute situation here at the moment, we have not had to make cuts, but looking two years done the line it is going to be very difficult. At the moment we are able to maintain what we do, but moving forward rising pensions and National Insurance contributions will make it difficult for us.”