Morpeth’s high school is among the best in the country after it received a top-class inspection report.
Under the new Ofsted regulations, an outstanding rating is required in each section to achieve that grade overall.
But King Edward VI School met the tougher requirement and there is high praise for students, teachers and governors from the inspectors.
The report says: “All groups of students make rapid progress from their different starting points.
“They behave extremely well in and out of classrooms and show high levels of respect and self-discipline at all times. Excellent pastoral care ensures that they feel safe and are safe in school.
“Teachers are highly skilled and enthusiastic –they are relentless in their drive to help students achieve their very best.
“Leaders at all levels, including middle leaders, are extremely determined to sustain the highest-quality provision and outstanding outcomes for students.
“The outstanding leadership of the highly-inclusive sixth form underpins a broad curriculum and the exceptional performance of students. Results at A-Level are significantly above national averages, so the vast majority of students move on to their first-choice universities.
“Governors are steadfast in holding leaders to account for the quality of teaching and students’ progress. They successfully promote the school’s further improvement through skilful fund-raising.”
The inspectors were also very positive about the ‘extremely diverse’ extra-curricular activities at the school.
KEVI received an outstanding grade in its last inspection in 2008, although there has been an improvement as a couple of the sections were rated good six years ago.
This was the first Ofsted visit since it became an academy – The Three Rivers Learning Trust – in partnership with the middle schools of Chantry and Newminster.
The trust’s executive headteacher, Simon Taylor, said: “I received a phone call at lunchtime saying the inspectors would be arriving the next day, but as we had waited such a long time, it actually came as a bit of a relief.
“And we were delighted when the report came out because Ofsted had matched our assessment of the school.
“The inspectors said some wonderful things about the young people at KEVI, including their attitude to learning and their commitment to their studies, and the quality of teaching as well as the commitment of all the staff at the school.
“The governors have played an important part in the school’s success and we get fantastic support from parents, who take an active interest in their child’s development. I must also thank all the schools in the Morpeth Partnership for their work at first and middle school level.
“But we won’t rest on our laurels and leaders have already met with staff to discuss how to take the school forward from this point so we can continue to develop and improve in the coming years.”