Drapers Mills primary ‘bright, stimulating and safe haven’ say Ofsted inspectors

Delighted: Head teacher Joe Manclark and Drapers' pupils

Drapers Mills Primary Academy in Margate is celebrating after receiving a Good grading – with Outstanding for leadership – from education watchdog Ofsted.

The St Peter’s Path school, which is part of the Kemnal Academies Trust, has made a determined journey from special measures in 2014 and a rating of requires improvement in 2016 to lift itself to the latest Good verdict after an inspection last month (March).

Three Ofsted inspectors visited the school over two days, talking with pupils, parents, governors and the teaching team.

They concluded that Drapers Mills is: “A bright, stimulating and safe haven for learning.”


In their report they say: “The headteacher’s unswerving determination to help pupils do as well as they can is shared by all leaders and staff.

“Outstanding attention to ensuring pupils’ social and emotional well-being underpins the school’s ethos. All staff are completely committed to helping children succeed, often against the odds, within this extremely diverse community.”

Highlighted in the report is the vast improvements in leadership – now rated outstanding – the good behaviour of pupils, good support for pupils with extra needs and the high standard of expected outcomes for pupils, with inspectors noting: “In 2017, pupils who had joined during Years 3 to 6 made significantly greater progress than the national average in reading, writing and mathematics.”

‘Warm relationships’

The nursery and reception teaching was also praised with inspectors saying: “Adults develop warm relationships with children and promote their personal, social and emotional development successfully. This means that children feel safe and develop a strong sense of security in their surroundings. n The learning environment is calm and productive. Indoors, children have a wealth of activities. The outdoor area is full of interesting equipment for the children to play with. It is vivid and engaging.”

Ofsted says areas for improvement at Drapers Mills include increasing spelling and mathematical problem skills.


Drapers Mills head teacher Joe Manclark said: “I am delighted that Ofsted has recognised our efforts and the rapid improvement the school has made.

“I am very grateful for the support the staff at the school have received from pupils, parents and the community. This will spur us on to even greater things!”

Karen Roberts, CEO of the Kemnal Academies Trust, added “On behalf of the TKAT Board of Trustees, congratulations to Joe Manclark and all at Drapers Mill Primary Academy, who have worked with skill and dedication to create such a tremendous school, giving the pupils such a great start in life and helping to raise standards across Thanet.”


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