Epsom Primary and Nursery School

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Epsom Primary and Nursery School's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Epsom Primary and Nursery School is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles


Emma Smith, executive head
Where every person
shines (EPS)
Epsom Primary and Nursery is a community school based
in Surrey that offers a high standard of education with a
rich curriculum to children from two years old to eleven.
Executivehead teacher Emma Smith discusses how the school
presents a perfect platform for children to embark on an
engaging and stimulating journey.
I was appointed as head teacher at Epsom Primary and Nursery School in
September 2012. I was already an experienced head, having worked at Green Lane
Primary and Nursery School in Kingston for five years. I lived locally and felt fiercely
ambitious for this particular school. I was keen to embrace the work that I knew
would transform the school so that it could sit confidently among other local, first-
choice primary schools. Today, we hold our own in our community and are highly
respected by our families, neighbours, other local schools and beyond. After many
creative and brave choices, we are proud of our transformation and our united
ethos that “Every Person Shines”.
The dedicated head teacher provides outstanding leadership, she is ably
supported by all leaders and has galvanised staff, pupils and parents to
aspire and be ambitious for each pupil who attends the school. Leaders
have created a highly inclusive school and community where all pupils and
parents are valued and come to school without fear of discrimination.”
Ofsted, December 2015
We relish the rich diversity our community brings to our school and strive to build
on this to prepare all our children holistically for life in modern Britain. Our school’s
»Executive head teacher:
»Founded in 1907
»Based in Epsom, Surrey
»Type of school: Primary and
nursery school, with a children’s
centre and two-year-old
»No. of pupils: 602
»Disadvantaged children: 30 per
»Pupils from an ethnic minority
background: Over 50 per cent
»EAL: 46 per cent
»SEND: 25 per cent
»42 languages spoken 15
children have EHCPs
»Four “looked-after children”
and a large traveller population
Epsom Primary and
Nursery School
Highlighting best practice
core values are “unique”, “ambitious”,
“creative” and “nurturing”.
In 2012, we had a high number of
unfilled spaces. A creative drive to
make the school one of parent choice
began in 2013. Making the decision to
rapidly expand our early years, to reach
our most vulnerable children and their
families as early as possible, included
introducing a two-year-old provision
with 32 places, doubling our nursery
to 104 three-year-olds, and accepting
a reception bulge class for three
consecutive years. The impact has
been significant. The majority of our
intake into the two-year-old provision
are entitled to free early education for
two-year-olds (FEET); their progress has
been accelerated, and this cohort now
actually outperforms other children,
despite facing considerable barriers to
their learning. Our site is now full, and
no further expansion is possible.
A commitment to high
expectations for everyone
All staff have exceptionally high
expectations of all pupils and are
relentless in their approach to
removing barriers. Our curriculum
is personalised to meet the needs
of every learner and intervention is
instrumental in rapidly improving
pupil outcomes. Our inclusion team,
incorporating a learning mentor
and three emotional literacy support
assistants (ELSAs), supports our
children and their families with
emotional wellbeing. In 2016-17,
145 of our children were seen by
external agency services. The school
has embraced the parent community,
actively empowering them to engage
fully, to support their children’s
learning journey and feel positive
about their partnership with the
school. EPS is a now a school of parent
Ambitious and brave
The school has exceptional leadership
and governance capacity, is outward-
looking and responds positively and
enterprisingly to the opportunities
within the changing educational
landscape. Creativity with the budget
enables us to seek innovative channels
of income generation to support staff
retention and high-quality professional
development. This has brought about
a culture of lifelong learning for all
pupils and, more ambitiously, for all
Challenges we face and how
we are overcoming them
A significant proportion of children
start their education at EPS well below
age-related expectations. The life
experiences of these children are often
compromised, leading to speech and
language delay, poor social skills and
underdeveloped fine and gross motor
skills. Not all parents are able to work
effectively with us to ensure the best
outcomes for their children.
We realise that our diverse and
sometimes vulnerable pupil
demographic, coupled with our
A rich curriculum
encouraging a thirst for
All staff have
of all pupils
and are
relentless in
their approach
to removing
exceptionally high expectations of
teaching and learning, mean workload
for our staff is significant.
Creating an ethos of aspiration
and ambition ensures there is
commitment and accountability from
every stakeholder to drive school
improvement to maximise pupil
achievement, make creative staff
appointments and implement effective
appraisal and innovative professional
development programmes.
Everyone is focused on continually
scrutinising all pupil, staff and
parent data, monitoring attendance,
behaviour, achievement and
engagement and rapidly and swiftly
intervening when gaps start to appear.
Introducing high-quality childcare
accessed by up to 100 children daily,
(breakfast, after school and holiday
clubs) gives the children the best
possible start and supports parents to
return to work or retrain.
A relentless focus on parental
engagement is evidenced by
attendance at parent workshops,
which has increased from two parents
attending sessions in 2012 to over 200
parents attending maths workshops
in 2017. 228 parents completed the
Ofsted Parent View survey and 344
parents completed the annual parent
survey in July 2017; results for both
were overwhelmingly positive.
To support teacher’s workload and
help them balance their career and
family life, we have designed a unique
and effective wellbeing package,
which supports all staff at every level.
All of this work has effectively
addressed the historical negative
legacy of poor perceptions of the
school, resulting in an increase by 203
per cent of first-choice reception place
applications from 2012 to 2017.
Epsom Primary and Nursery School
has become a strategic partner for
three teaching schools and we plan
to become a multi-academy trust
(MAT). We accessed the new streams
of school improvement funding to
support schools, MATs and local
authorities in vulnerable circumstances,
so sharing our expertise and creating
a robust recruitment, retention and
professional development policy for
the talented staff at our school.
We have been unwavering in
our approach and we have been
courageous, taking professional risks
and being creative with our budget.
The governing body have supported
a new leadership model of executive
head teacher, head of school and
three deputy head teachers, which has
developed capacity for team members
to be deployed as specialist leaders of
As leaders, governors and teachers, our
passion and ambition are focused on,
but go even wider than, impacting the
lives of our pupils and their families.
Our vision, underpinned by a strong
school-to-school support network,
means we influence and have a
positive impact on the lives of children
far beyond our own community.
As leaders,
governors and
teachers, our
passion and
ambition are
focused on,
but go even
wider than,
impacting the
lives of our
pupils and
their families
The enchanted learning
and technology suite


This article was sponsored by Epsom Primary and Nursery School. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng.

Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng

This year’s Parliamentary Review reflects on a tumultuous and extraordinary year, globally and nationally. As well as being an MP, I am a keen student of history, and I am conscious that 2020 would mark the end of an era. It will be remembered as the year in which we concluded Brexit negotiations and finally left the European Union. Above all, it will be remembered as the year of Covid-19.

In our fight against the pandemic, I am delighted that our vaccination programme is beginning to turn the tide – and I pay tribute to the British businesses, scientists and all those who have helped us to achieve this. But the virus has dealt enormous damage, and we now have a duty to rebuild our economy.

We must ensure that businesses are protected. We have made more than £350 billion available to that end, with grants, business rates relief and our furlough scheme supporting more than 11 million people and jobs in every corner of the country, maintaining livelihoods while easing the pressure on employers. The next step is to work with business to build back better and greener, putting the net zero carbon challenge at the heart of our recovery. This is a complex undertaking, but one which I hope will be recognised as a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Through the prime minister’s ten point plan for a green industrial revolution, we can level up every region of the UK, supporting 250,000 green jobs while we accelerate our progress towards net zero carbon emissions.

With our commitment to raise R&D spending to 2.4% of GDP and the creation of the Advanced Research & Invention Agency, we are empowering our fantastic researchers to take on groundbreaking research, delivering funding with flexibility and speed. With this approach, innovators will be able to work with our traditional industrial heartlands to explore new technologies, and design and manufacture the products on which the future will be built – ready for export around the globe.

And I believe trade will flourish. We are a leading nation in the fight against climate change. As the host of COP26 this year, we have an incredible opportunity to market our low-carbon products and expertise. Our departure from the EU gives us the chance to be a champion of truly global free trade; we have already signed trade deals with more than 60 countries around the world.

As we turn the page and leave 2020 behind, I am excited about the new chapter which Britain is now writing for itself, and for the opportunities which lie ahead of us.
Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy