STAFF and pupils at an improving school are on top form after gaining impressive marks from education watchdogs.
St Bede’s Catholic Comprehensive School and Byron Sixth Form College, in Peterlee, has been rated “good” overall by Ofsted.
Although Ofsted inspectors say there is room for improvement, they were impressed with the Westway-based school, rating the quality of teaching and learning as good overall.
In the Ofsted report, lead inspector Robert Jones said: “The headteacher and members of his senior team lead with vision and energy.
“All the issues from the last inspection have been addressed extremely well.”
Mr Jones adds: “This is a good school.
“It has improved rapidly since its last inspection with some groups of students, notably those with special educational needs and/or disabilities making outstanding progress.
“Pastoral care is of high quality and this, combined with the interesting curriculum on offer for students has resulted in attendance that is above average.”
The school, which has 949 students, including 130 in sixth form, on its roll, was rated outstanding in areas including the quality of learning for pupils with special educational needs, the extent to which pupils feel safe, engaging with parents and carers and care, guidance and support.
The good news comes as work is well underway on a £16.6m revamp on the building under the Building Schools for the Future (BSF) scheme.
Headteacher Paul McKenna said: “The school is absolutely thrilled.
“Once again it just shows the tremendous effort the teachers and students are putting into their work.
“Parents are very supportive of the school and their own child’s education.
“It’s a real tribute to the hard work of staff and students.”
The report says areas to improve, which could lead to an ‘outstanding’ grade for the school, include “ensuring all students are fully stretched by teachers setting work that is appropriate to their differing abilities and widening the opportunities for students to develop independent learning skills through group work, problem-solving and practical activities”.
It is also recommended that the school’s sixth form department is improved by raising standards to a similar level displayed in the school.