St Nicholas CE Primary Academy praised by Church of England inspectors

Posted on: 15/12/2023

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New Romney primary school praised by Church of England inspectors


Church of England inspectors have heaped praise on St Nicholas CE Primary Academy in New Romney, describing it as having “life-changing impact across the community” and “inspirational leadership”.

A quarter of all primary schools are Church of England establishments and St Nicholas is one of 16 academies that are part of Aquila, The Diocese of Canterbury Academies Trust.

All Anglican and Methodist schools are inspected by the Church of England; this is separate to Ofsted inspections.

A Church of England inspection focuses on the impact of the school’s Christian vision and is called a Statutory Inspection of Anglican and Methodist Schools Report (SIAMS). There are no gradings - inspectors simply state whether the school is living up to its foundation as a Church school.

Inspectors, who visited St Nicholas in November, said the school was more than achieving this aim.

They said the school had “exceptionally strong partnerships” which “impact positively on people’s lives producing lasting change”. “The school values of ambition, community, friendship, perseverance, respect and trust are intrinsically woven through the vision,” inspectors said.

“Pupils rightly explain how these values support all to thrive. Everyone in the school aspires to ‘be a Barnabas’, creating a culture of kindness and support.”

The inspectors particularly praised how the school’s more than 400 pupils look for opportunities to make a positive difference to the world.

“Writing to the prime minister, older pupils show a mature understanding of the plight of child refugees arriving on boats,” the inspectors said, while other pupils have requested a ban on laminating in school after learning about climate change. “Pupils have also worked together to set up a permanent community food cupboard within the school … after recognising that food poverty was an ongoing concern not limited to the season of harvest.”

The inspectors praised the school’s curriculum as “exciting, fun, imaginative” and linked to local history and issues.

“Leaders ensure that the wide and varying needs of the pupils are met through the broad and rich learning on offer,” the inspectors said.

Christopher Dale, St Nicholas’s Headteacher, said: “We are proud to be a welcoming, inclusive and aspirational learning environment with our community at our heart.

“We are delighted that the inspectors recognised our many strengths. We will continue to do our very best for our pupils and our wider community.”

Annie Wiles, CEO of Aquila, The Diocese of Canterbury Academies Trust, said: “This is testament to the hard work and committed and excellent team at St Nicholas’s who put the needs of pupils at the centre of everything they do.”


Notes to editors:


The SIAMS report can be found here:



Please find attached an image of the school attached.


For any further information, please contact Jessica Shepherd on or 07957147308