Outstanding school is top class

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A MORPETH school has been highlighted among the best in the country in a national inspection report.

The annual Ofsted report was published last week to show how schools, colleges and adult learning centres are performing across the country.

The study shows huge variations in the quality of education and learning, but among those highlighted for praise is Stobhillgate First School in Morpeth, which was judged outstanding when it was inspected in May.

Inspectors found parents, carers, pupils and staff were extremely positive about all aspects of the school, pupils were encouraged to reflect on how well they were learning, misbehaviour was uncommon, attendance was above average, and there was very successful leadership.

The report concluded that the curriculum and the promotion of pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development was outstanding.

Headteacher Neil Richmond said: “We are delighted to be recognised like this. To have been rated outstanding twice in a row has been lovely for everybody connected with our school, but we don’t rest on our laurels and we are always moving on, always evolving and always doing our best for the children and the parents of the school.”

The annual Ofsted report is based on 25,000 inspections carried out in 2011/12. Around 70 per cent of providers nationally were rated good or better.

In the North East 73 per cent of primary schools were good or outstanding, ahead of the national average of 69 per cent, but only 59 per cent of secondary schools were rated so and 62 per cent of learning and skills providers, compared to national figures of 66 per cent and 64 per cent respectively.

For early years provision 67 per cent were rated at least good in the North East, compared to 74 per cent nationally, and 55 per cent of the most deprived pupils in the region go to good or outstanding schools, compared to a national average of 60 per cent.

Eight Ofsted Regional Director posts are being created across the country in a bid to drive up standards.

Nick Hudson, who is currently Corporate Director for Children’s and Adult Services at Wigan Council, has been appointed to the role for the North East, Yorkshire and Humber.

He will start in January and will lead teams of inspectors to monitor, challenge and support education providers that are not meeting the required standard

For more information visit www.ofsted.gov.uk