Hyndburn Park Primary School

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Hyndburn Park Primary 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 Hyndburn Park Primary 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


Hyndburn Park’s leadership
team: (from the left) Jo Hardwick
(assistant head teacher), Wendy
Tracey (head teacher) and Saiqa
Tabsim (deputy head teacher)
Year 6 learning in
different ways
When Wendy Tracey became head teacher in 2010,
Hyndburn Park was one of the 200 poorest-
performing primary schools in England. Her job was
to turn one of the “worst” schools into a great school. That
journey – not yet complete, as they strive now to turn their
Ofsted “good” into “outstanding” – has been challenging,
but immensely rewarding, because it has transformed the life
chances of hundreds of children. Hyndburn Park serves an
area of severe deprivation: in fact, four-fifths of their pupils
come from the most deprived households in England while
98 per cent have Pakistani family backgrounds and English as
an additional language. Wendy elaborates on the journey the
school has undertaken.
The journey of improvement started with restructuring staff organisation –
teaching and non-teaching – to ensure that it was fit for purpose. Throughout this
substantial endeavour, the high-quality support from Lancashire county council’s
human resources team was invaluable. The increase in challenge, pace and
expectations in school was something that some staff felt was not for them. In my
first two years at the school, the turnover of teaching staff was high, with more
than a dozen teachers leaving the school. As staff left, we were able to recruit
high-quality practitioners who brought fresh ideas into the school with them, to
complement the skills of our existing talented staff.
»Head teacher: Wendy Tracey
»Founded in 1906
»Based in Accrington,
»Type of school: Community
primary school
»No. of pupils: 500 (including
the school’s nursery class),
with 98 per cent who have
English as an additional
language (EAL)
»No. of staff: 77, 22.3 per cent
of which are teachers
»81 per cent of pupils come
from E* homes (top 5 per cent
most deprived households in
»Ofsted: “Good”, March 2017
Hyndburn Park
Primary School
Highlighting best practice
Induction became increasingly
precise, with time taken prior to
starting at the school to ensure that
new members of staff were fully
acquainted with policies, procedures
and “The Hyndburn Park Way”. This
really helped to develop the robust
consistency in approach for which our
school has become renowned.
Leadership in-school is strong,
determined and driven. The school’s
leadership team (head teacher, deputy
and assistant head) is ably supported
by an equally impressive and talented
senior management team, alongside
an exceptionally supportive and
challenging group of governors.
Annual appraisals for every member of
staff are linked to tailored continuing
professional development, ranging
from training courses to opportunities
to visit other schools or observe
outstanding practice in our own
school. We take great pride in the way
we grow and develop our staff, many
of whom move on to promoted posts
or higher-level training. Staff are of
the highest quality, are appropriately
qualified and, most importantly, share
the vision of the school: only the best
will ever do.
The school’s vision and values were
reviewed and completely rewritten
three years ago, with contributions
from children, families, staff and
governors, to reflect the strong ethos
that now pervades the school. The
values of the school are at the centre
of all our work, our decision-making
and the way that we treat each other.
This, coupled with a relentless focus
on continual improvement, has been
absolutely key to making Hyndburn
Park the school that it is.
Like all of the best schools, our children
are absolutely at the heart of all that
we do. Teaching in most classes,
during most lessons, on most days,
is outstanding. This is a combination
of both the science and the art of
teaching. We focus on learning
more about how children learn and
learn best, rather than choosing
particular schemes or following the
latest trends. We concentrate on
pedagogy rather than jumping on
bandwagons. Teachers plan great
lessons, choose exciting and varied
classroom resources, use support staff
intelligently, and target their questions
carefully in order to ensure that
children learn. Monitoring has changed
over the past two years to become far
less formal. There is much more peer
observation, informal “walkthroughs”
and leaders exploring ways of checking
standards in their own subjects or
aspects. This has changed the culture
of the school enormously, and has
enabled more distributed leadership
where all staff enthusiastically take
on responsibility to drive school
improvement and ensure that it is
The curriculum is ours and ours alone.
It has been developed to promote a
love of learning, an excitement about
new things, independence, resilience
and pride in success and achievement.
We also like to think that both staff
and children have plenty of fun along
the way. The school has a “bucket list”
– the “Park Pledge” – of 50 activities
Learning outdoors in
The drive, passion and purpose of
the head teacher and leadership
team suggests that capacity to bring
about further improvement is
excellent as the school is ready to
continue on an exciting phase of its
LA annual report, October 2017
that all children will experience
during their time in school. The
Park Pledge, along with the school’s
curriculum and a plethora of visits and
visitors, is designed to expand our
children’s cultural capital in order to
broaden their horizons, develop their
confidence and raise their aspirations.
In 2011, we introduced an Easter
school. This is something we had to do:
standards at that time were low. It has
continued each year and is regarded as
a rite of passage by our children. Some
of our best staff devote a week of
their holiday to working with children
in small groups or one-to-one to give
them that extra boost academically,
and to develop their confidence and
“can do” attitude. Our children enter
school with skills and abilities that are
consistently well below those typical for
their age. They make excellent progress
during their time at Hyndburn Park
and leave working at, and sometimes
above, the national expectation. Our
families appreciate the work the school
does to ensure that pupils are given
the best-possible education. They
particularly value the ambition that we
have for theirchildren.
What next?
We continually look to improve, to
develop and to grow. Over recent years
we have attracted visitors from many
other schools both from within the
local authority and beyond, to observe
great practice. This has ranged from
observing outstanding teaching, to the
use of data and assessment to improve
outcomes, inspirational leadership,
and much more. We are now looking
to develop this further. We have
forged a closer working relationship
with the University of Cumbria and
are becoming more involved in initial
teacher training.
We are signed up to offer residency
leadership programmes to support
schools in challenging circumstances in
Blackpool and are applying to become
a teaching school. We are going to
train the teachers of the future. These
practitioners will share the same
passion for learning, the drive, the
intelligence and the commitment to
making a real difference to the lives of
children that has become the hallmark
of Hyndburn Park.
The Hyndburn
Park motto
“Dream Believe
Achieve” is
throughout the
Ofsted, March 2017
Finding out about our
school’s history


This article was sponsored by Hyndburn Park Primary 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 The Rt Hon Theresa May MP.

The Rt Hon Theresa May MP's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By The Rt Hon Theresa May MP

This foreword from the then Prime Minister appeared in the 2018/19 Parliamentary Review.

British politics provides ample material for analysis in the pages of The Parliamentary Review. For Her Majesty’s Government, our task in the year ahead is clear: to achieve the best Brexit deal for Britain and to carry on our work to build a more prosperous and united country – one that truly works for everyone. 

The right Brexit deal will not be sufficient on its own to secure a more prosperous future for Britain. We also need to ensure that our economy is ready for what tomorrow will bring. Our Modern Industrial Strategy is our plan to do that. It means Government stepping up to secure the foundations of our productivity: providing an education system that delivers the skills our economy needs, improving school standards and transforming technical education; delivering infrastructure for growth; ensuring people have the homes they need in the places they want to live. It is all about taking action for the long-term that will pay dividends in the future.

But it also goes beyond that. Government, the private sector and academia working together as strategic partners achieve far more than we could separately. That is why we have set an ambitious goal of lifting UK public and private research and development investment to 2.4 per cent of GDP by 2027. It is why we are developing four Grand Challenges, the big drivers of social and economic change in the world today: harnessing artificial intelligence and the data revolution; leading in changes to the future of mobility; meeting the challenges of our ageing society; and driving ahead the revolution in clean growth. By focusing our efforts on making the most of these areas of enormous potential, we can develop new exports, grow new industries and create more good jobs in every part of our country.

Years of hard work and sacrifice from the British people have got our deficit down by over three quarters. We are building on this success by taking a balanced approach to public spending. We are continuing to deal with our debts, so that our economy can remain strong and we can protect people’s jobs, and at the same time we are investing in vital public services, like our NHS. We have set out plans to increase NHS funding annually by an average by 3.4 percent in real terms: that is £394 million a week more. In return, the NHS will produce a ten-year plan, led by doctors and nurses, to eliminate waste and improve patient care.

I believe that Britain can look to the future with confidence. We are leaving the EU and setting a new course for prosperity as a global trading nation. We have a Modern Industrial Strategy that is strengthening the foundations of our economy and helping us to seize the opportunities of the future. We are investing in the public services we all rely on and helping them to grow and improve. Building on our country’s great strengths – our world-class universities and researchers, our excellent services sector, our cutting edge manufacturers, our vibrant creative industries, our dedicated public servants – we can look towards a new decade that is ripe with possibility. The government I lead is doing all it can to make that brighter future a reality for everyone in our country. 

British politics provides ample material for analysis in the pages of The Parliamentary Review 
The Rt Hon Theresa May MP
Prime Minister