Pupils and staff celebrate as school stays ‘outstanding’

Cllr Henry Vann.
Cllr Henry Vann.

Pupils and staff at Priory Lower School in Bedford are celebrating their continued rating by Ofsted as an outstanding school.

Ofsted carried out their inspection of the school on April 20 and May 1 - and every category assessed was judged outstanding.

The assessment was carried out with one day’s notice and inspectors evaluated a wide range of evidence.

The outstanding grade was awarded to the achievement of pupils, the quality of teaching, the behaviour and safety of pupils and the school’s leadership and management.

Ofsted said: “The devoted headteacher, staff and governors all share a common vision and determination to include all pupils in a supportive learning environment where they are able to thrive academically and socially.

“They have secured outstanding performance in all aspects of the school’s work.”

Anita Hemsley, head teacher at Priory Lower School, said: “We are delighted with the findings of the inspection. We like to think of our school as a happy family.

“The reason that we are outstanding is thanks to our staff, pupils and parents who all work together as a team to provide our community with a school to be proud of.”

Cllr Henry Vann, portfolio holder for education at Bedford Borough Council, said: “It is the second consecutive time that the school has been awarded the highest grade possible.

“This is a result of the hard work and co-operation of the whole school community: pupils, parents, staff and governors.”

The Ofsted report said: “The curriculum, together with the vast range of enrichment activities on offer, ensures that pupils are provided with many memorable experiences which ignite their enthusiasm for learning.”

Inspectors also noted “across the school teachers ensure that pupils have opportunities to practise their mathematical skills across the subjects and apply them to real-life situations. As a result, pupils make rapid progress in mathematics.

They added: “Rigorous planning and frequent checking on the progress of every child takes place in an environment in which all adults work together and support each other very well.”

The borough council’s recent Education Performance Report 2014 has highlighted that Bedford borough performs very well in terms of the percentage of its schools that are judged by Ofsted as good or better.

More than 90% of all borough schools are judged by Ofsted to be good or better, compared with 78.8% in the rest of the country as a whole.

This places Bedford borough as number one in the Eastern England and in the top 10 of local authority areas in the country. To view the report, go to www.ofsted.gov.uk