A PRIMARY school in one of the most deprived neighbourhoods in the country has won national praise for helping youngsters succeed.
Stranton Primary School in Hartlepool has been included in Ofsted’s annual report as an example of closing the gap in a disadvantaged area.
It comes as Hartlepool is listed as being the 25th highest ranking council out of 160 nationwide for the percentage of pupils attending outstanding schools, with 79 per cent compared to an England average of 69 per cent.
Hartlepool is ranked 136th out of 150 local authorities nationally, with 46 per cent of pupils attending good or outstanding secondary schools.
The town’s Stranton ward is in the top one per cent most deprived areas nationally and is ranked 56th out of 7,934 for deprivation.
In spite of that, children who attend the school in Southburn Terrace go on to make excellent progress.
Ofsted’s annual report, published yesterday, presents the findings of inspections during the previous year and provides a national picture of current education quality and standards.
Neil Nottingham, headteacher of Stranton Primary School, said: “We are absolutely delighted to be included in the annual report.
“It is great recognition for all the hard work that staff and done here for a number of years and for the children as well.
“We have always valued each child and all staff do everything they can to help each child achieve their best regardless of their background. It is a combination of a lot of years work.”
Stranton was inspected by Ofsted in July and achieved the highest status of outstanding.
It said children often start at school with underdeveloped speech and language skills for their age, but make rapid progress.
Inspectors also praised Mr Nottingham’s vision and said there was no limits to what he believes the school can achieve.
The new report shows more primary school children in Hartlepool are attending schools rated as good or outstanding, with the council ranked fourth top in a regional local authority league table.
Councillor Cath Hill, the council’s cabinet member for children’s services, said: “The report shows that overall, Hartlepool schools have performed extremely well compared to other areas which is very pleasing indeed.
“In recent years there has been a tremendous amount of hard work to raise education standards across the town and I would like to applaud schoolchildren, schools, parents and local authority staff for their commitment.
“We must not however rest on our laurels and we will continue to work closely together to drive standards up further.”
Durham was ranked 41st nationally for secondary schools with 79 per cent, and Stockton came in 121st on the list with 58 per cent of pupils attending the best schools.
For primary schools, Stockton featured at 65 out of 160 local authorities nationally with 71 per cent of youngsters going to the top primary schools with Durham 73rd on the list with 70 per cent.