Double Ofsted joy for St Mary’s School

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Staff and pupils at St Mary’s School and College are celebrating after it was found to be ‘Good’ across all areas following joint Ofsted inspections in January.

St Mary’s made a good impression in both Care and Education Ofsteds.

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It is an amazing turn-around for the school, which was put into special measures in 2015.

The school is part of the Talking Trust charity and caters for pupils, aged seven - 19, who have speech, language and/or communication difficulties.

The school is now being led by headteacher mark Bryant, who took over in September 2017.

In the latest report overall effectiveness, pupil outcomes, quality of teaching, personal development and the overall progress of children and young people are all rated as ‘Good’

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The glowing Ofsted report said: “Leaders have successfully managed the school through a difficult period of transition.”

The report said of current head Mark Bryant: “The newly appointed headteacher has moved quickly and built effectively on the work of the interim management board. Despite some considerable challenges, leaders have implemented a positive shift in the school’s culture and made tremendous strides in the school’s journey of improvement since the last inspection.”

It added: “Staff work hard to ensure students in the sixth form are prepared for the next stage of their education, training or employment. The vocational centre provides pupils with valuable experiences in a variety of workplaces and supports them to engage and integrate with member of the wider community.

“Governance is well led and Governors are fully involved in the life of the school.

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“parents, staff and pupils are positive about the school’s work to promote the safety and well-being of its pupils. Pupils say they feel safe.

“Teachers have high expectations of what they expect pupils to achieve. Teachers and support workers know pupils well and make good use of this knowledge to plan lessons that engage and challenge pupils. Pupils feel well listened to.”

Mr Bryant said: “There are so many positive aspects of the report, but particularly pleasing for me was the recognition of the really positive way that education and therapy is now integrated. This feels a unique aspect of what we have to offer at St Mary’s and one we are planning to strengthen moving forwards.

“The inspectors made a point, both during their visit, and in the report, to praise our pupils; their politeness and courteous behaviour and what positive ambassadors they are for our school.

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“The report is extremely positive throughout and reflects all of the commitment and hard work over the last few years, from the pupils, staff, Governing Board and parents.

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