Hartlepool school’s drive to improve is working

St Cuthberts Primary School headteacher Joanne Wilson and pupils celebrate their good Ofsted report.
St Cuthberts Primary School headteacher Joanne Wilson and pupils celebrate their good Ofsted report.
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Staff and pupils at a Hartlepool primary school are celebrating after making big improvements.

St Cuthbert’s Primary School, in Stratford Road, was rated as Requiring Improvement when it was inspected by Ofsted two years ago.

But after the school inspectors’ last visit in April, it has now been found to be Good overall with some outstanding features.

Headteacher Joanne Wilson said the improvement is the result of team work by the whole school, including parents and governors.

Mrs Wilson said: “Two years ago we were given various actions to work on and we have addressed all of those and really got some strong elements in the school now.”

The inspectors praised Mrs Wilson for her commitment, vision and imagination, that has led sustained improvement in the leadership of the school and the quality of teaching.

The report said: “The headteacher’s unwavering drive and commitment to raising standards has led to rapid positive improvements in the quality of teaching following an unsettled period with many staffing changes.

“She has gained the confidence of staff, parents, carers and pupils, who fully support her relentless drive for excellence.

“Leaders have created an inclusive culture that has high expectations of staff and pupils.”

The deputy headteacher was also recognised and commended for their contribution to improve the teaching through coaching, training and support.

The governors are also involved and fully committed.

The report added: “This school is a vibrant, happy place where pupils learn much about themselves and others.”

Mrs Wilson said: “We are really proud of the report. It has been a whole team approach.

“There’s a passion to improve and everybody is excited about the journey for the children.”

One area of the school which Ofsted say is outstanding is St Cuthbert’s work to promote pupils’ personal development and welfare.

The report said pupils are kept safe and they feel safe. They also demonstrate caring attitudes to each other and know what to do if they are ever concerned about anything.

Mrs Wilson said: “That to me is the most important element, if the children are happy in school and know how to stay safe.”

Academically, pupils are making strong progress in English, maths and a range of other subjects including French, music and PE.

St Cuthbert’s has also been supported by a local authority grant to help improve its early years area and outdoor environment.