Wellington Community Primary School

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Wellington Community 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 Wellington Community 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


Headteacher David England
We were judged as
“outstanding” last year
Formed from the amalgamation of two underperforming
schools, Wellington Community Primary School has gone
from strength to strength and was judged by Ofsted
last year as “outstanding” in all areas. A key aspect of this
improvement has been to involve the community directly, and
the school is now open seven days a week, 52 weeks a year,
and has established allotment areas and football pitches for
use by the local community. They have recently begun working
with another local school, Marlborough Infant School, and aim
to improve educational standards through communal work.
Headteacher David England explains.
Wellington Community Primary School was formed in January 2013 through the
amalgamation of two underperforming schools: an infant and a junior school
that were situated half a mile apart. Wellington is now a two-form entry school
with 420 pupils on roll and is regularly oversubscribed. I was appointed interim
headteacher of the former junior school in January 2012 at a time when the school
was judged by Ofsted as “inadequate”. We were able to improve this rating to
“satisfactory” within a year before closing to reopen as the new school. Prior to
this, I worked as deputy headteacher at a one-form entry school in Gosport. At the
time I joined this school, it was judged as “inadequate” and before I left, we were
able to improve this to “good” with “outstanding” features.
The decision to combine the two schools was met with a mix of resistance and
support: the infant school raised concerns but the staff and community of the
junior school supported the decision. Neither of the schools had ever been judged
»Headteacher: David England
»Established in 2013
»Based in Aldershot
»Type: Community primary
»No. of pupils: 420
Wellington Community
Primary School
Highlighting best practice
as “good” or better and so the local
authority decided outcomes needed to
be improved. Beyond this, both schools
were significantly undersubscribed,
and since we have opened the new
school our pupils numbers have grown
and grown.
Involving the community
The school has progressed significantly
from this starting point. We have
moved from two underperforming
schools to a “good” Ofsted judgment
in 2014 and last year we were judged
as “outstanding” in every category.
What sets us apart is the community
element of our school, something
that has been in place from the outset
and which Ofsted identified in its
report. When forming the school,
we involved the community directly
in the construction of our vision, our
values and even our uniform. We have
established a culture of openness
and transparency and work to offer
our pupils the best opportunities by
involving the community as much as
possible. This entails providing facilities
for local adults and children: if parents
can access improved opportunities,
their children will also benefit.
Our school is open seven days a
week, 52 weeks a year. We have a
full-time family support worker who
works all year round, focusing on
providing support for parents and
vulnerable children. Our site is used
as a community resource and we
have constructed an allotment area
and football pitches for use by the
wider community. We also host a
church group that uses the building
at the weekend: we have embedded
ourselves in the community and the
community supports us in return.
Adapting our provision for
our local area
We serve a wide demographic, and a
high proportion, around 30 per cent,
of our pupils come from disadvantaged
backgrounds. Beyond this, 30 per
cent have English as an additional
language while 33 different languages
are spoken within our school. As we
are located in Aldershot, 20 per cent
of our pupils come from families with
involvement in the armed forces.
Our location, on the London fringe,
also means that our area is quite
expensive yet incomes are not very
high: a number of our families live in
temporary accommodation or houses
All available space is a
learning tool
What sets us
apart is the
element of
our school,
that has been
in place from
the outset and
which Ofsted
identified in its
of multiple occupancy. To support
them, we wanted to create a school
that was a home from home and we
were determined to offer the school as
a resource for hard-to-reach families.
Because of our involvement with
the families of our pupils and their
everyday lives, we have developed a
deep knowledge of our pupils and
the local community. We tailor our
curriculum accordingly and so our
pupils’ learning journeys are often
individually designed. We have
constructed a flexible curriculum
based on the needs and interests of
our children and this has led to our
pupil outcomes being well above
national averages for every age group
I think the major challenge that
faces many schools, us included,
will be future funding. Schools are
experiencing a higher proportion of
children in mainstream education with
very specific needs, and every school
requires sufficient funding to ensure
they are able to meet these needs. For
our school, this is not a pressing issue
at the moment as we have been very
innovative in the way we have used
funding. Having said this, I believe
that it will become an issue in the
future as funding is being cut while
the proportion of children with specific
needs is increasing.
We have entered into a partnership
with another school, Marlborough
Infant School, and we aim to
strengthen this relationship in the
future. Marlborough was judged as
“requires improvement” two years
ago and we are confident that we will
be able to improve this. To achieve
this, I am now also headteacher of
Marlborough and we have transferred
some of our staff, and our capacity for
improvement, to them. We have now
established a large team that leads
both schools. Looking ahead, we may
add a third school into the partnership
as we believe such collaboration is
the way forward: coming together
to benefit from economies of scale
and to improve the overall standard
is the way
together to
benefit from
economies of
scale and to
improve the
standard of
A deep knowledge of
pupils helps to meet
their needs


This article was sponsored by Wellington Community 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 Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss.

Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss

Even by the standards of the day –this has been one of the most exciting and unpredictable years in British politics.

The leadership election we’ve just seen marks a huge moment in our country’s history. This government is taking a decisive new direction, embracing the opportunities of Brexit and preparing our country to flourish outside the EU.

As international trade secretary, I’ll be driving forward work on the free trade agreements that are going to be a priority for the government. Free trade isn’t just an abstract concept bandied around by technocrats. It is crucial for a strong economy and for the ability of families to make ends meet. Free trade benefits people in every part of our country, as British firms export to new markets and people doing the weekly shop have access to a wider choice of goods at lower prices.

The essence of free trade is in the title: freedom. It’s about giving people the power to exchange their goods without heavy government taxation or interference. Commerce and free exchange are the engine room of prosperity and social mobility. I’m determined to tackle the forces who want to hold that back.

One of my priorities is agreeing an exciting new free trade deal with the US, building on the great relationship between our two countries and the Prime Minister and US President. But I’ll also be talking to other partners including New Zealand, Australia and fast-growing Asian markets.

And with the EU too, we want a friendly and constructive relationship, as constitutional equals, and as friends and partners in facing the challenges that lie ahead – a relationship based on a deep free trade agreement. Our country produces some of the world’s most successful exports, and the opportunity to bring these to the rest of the world should make us all excited about the future. It is this excitement, optimism and ambition which I believe will come to define this government.

For too long now, we have been told Britain isn’t big or important enough to survive outside the EU – that we have to accept a deal that reflects our reduced circumstances. I say that’s rubbish. With the right policies in place, we can be the most competitive, free-thinking, prosperous nation on Earth exporting to the world and leading in new developments like AI. To do that, we’ll give the brilliant next generation of entrepreneurs the tools they need to succeed. Since 2015, there has been a staggering 85 per cent rise in the number of businesses set up by 18 to 24 year olds – twice the level set up by the same age group in France and Germany. We’ll help them flourish by championing enterprise, cutting taxes and making regulation flexible and responsive to their needs.

As we do that, we’ll level up and unite all parts of the UK with great transport links, fibre broadband in every home and proper school funding, so everyone shares in our country’s success.

2019 has been the year of brewing economic and political revolution. 2020 will be the year when a revitalised Conservative government turbo charges the economy, boosts prospects for people across the country, and catapults Britain back to the forefront of the world stage.

Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss
Secretary of State for International Development