Penwortham school celebrates good result after seven month wait
It's taken seven months but staff and pupils at a Penwortham school finally have something to celebrate.
Priory Academy was visited by Ofsted inspectors just before lockdown in March.
But now, after years of being told it needed to improve, the Crow Hills Road high school is toasting a good report and being described as a "rapidly improving school."
Covid-19 meant that everyone at Priory couldn’t properly celebrate the grading now though headteacher Matt Eastham says they can finally give themselves a pat on the back.
He said: "We didn’t get the opportunity to celebrate our Ofsted grading as Covid-19 suddenly took up all our attention and school shut down.
“Now though we can reflect on what was a significant and great outcome for the school and we can now celebrate with pupils and staff.”
The quality of education, behaviour of attitudes, personal development and leadership and management were all marked as good giving an overall Ofsted grading of ‘Good.’
Two previous inspections rated the 750-pupil school as requiring improvement but the latest inspection squad was impressed with the way standards have shot up and the "widespread improvements that have been made to the quality of education."
The school was described as a happy place where pupils feel safe and the inspection report said: "Pupils’ behaviour has improved greatly. This, in part, is because pupils get on well with each other and their teachers."
Mr Eastham said: "What we are especially proud of is that we are at the top end of Good.
"That’s really encouraging for us but we are not going to stop there, we won’t get complacent, we will push on to be even better."
Of the report the headteacher added: "I am proud to be the headteacher of a firmly good school in all areas of the inspection framework.
"I am very pleased that inspectors recognised that our pupils are typically happy and feel safe at school.
"They saw pupils behaving sensibly in lessons and around the school, they said pupils are polite and considerate towards others and that pupils get on well with each other and their teachers."
He said: "I am equally pleased that inspectors recognised our pupil’s ‘wider personal development’, their character development, as being very important to us as a school too, as well as their academic progress. "
The inspectors said staff were "extremely motivated and keen to improve the school further," adding: "Leaders have made sure that the curriculum is ambitious for all pupils, including those with SEND and those who are disadvantaged. This is helping to transform the learning of these pupils.
"Leaders think that pupils’ wider personal development is very important. They have planned opportunities carefully to help pupils become healthy, responsible and moral citizens."
Inspectors were also impressed that many pupils take advantage of the extra-curricular opportunities on offer, such as the astronomy club and many sporting activities.
Mr Eastham said: "We all remain firmly committed, as always, to providing a quality education for every one of our pupils, and whilst remaining caring, we will continue to be progressive with high academic standards, to ensure we continue being a firmly good school where individual pupils learn to succeed."