Bury St Edmunds: St Louis Catholic Middle School is “oustanding,” Ofsted inspectors say

St Louis Catholic Middle School in Bury celebrates an outstanding Ofsted report.

St Louis Catholic Middle School in Bury celebrates an outstanding Ofsted report. - Credit: Archant

A school which has an uncertain future has been judged to be “outstanding” in all areas by inspectors.

St Louis Catholic Middle School in Bury St Edmunds is celebrating after retaining its outstanding status following an Ofsted inspection earlier this month.

At the time of the previous inspection, the school was scheduled to shut next month as the diocese wanted to move to two-tier education in the town, but a campaign, supported by the East Anglian Daily Times, staved off closure. However the future of the school is still under review.

On the outstanding Ofsted report, headteacher Rose Heap, formerly acting head, said the school was “delighted”.

“Everybody understands the new Ofsted framework is so much tougher, and so there’s been a lot in the press about Ofsted raising the bar, so for us to receive this second outstanding judgement against that context makes it even more special.

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“We think what it is a credit to really is how we have been able to stay focused on what really matters - the children’s education - despite the external pressures SOR [School Organisation Review] have brought.

“We have been able to absolutely focus on the children’s progress and achievement and I think what’s really, for me, wonderful about the report it shows all groups of learners are making exceptional progress at this school, and that’s really something.”

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The report said a very high proportion of teaching was outstanding and pupils were exceptionally polite.

“Pupils’ excellent behaviour in lessons and their calm, polite and courteous manner around the school make a substantial contribution to the positive school environment and both their personal and academic achievements.”

On school leadership, it said: “St Louis Catholic Middle School is exceptionally well led by its acting headteacher and senior leaders who have ensured that, following a period of instability, pupils’ achievement and progress has continued to improve.”

In a letter to parents, chair of governors Siobhan Watson said: “An outstanding Ofsted report doesn’t just happen by chance or luck. It is the culmination of years of forward planning together with massive attention to small detail; it shows leadership, aspiration, humility and above all teamwork.”

Mrs Heap said after an adjudicator upheld an appeal by the governing body against a decision to shut the school various meetings had been taking place.

Currently the school is helping to put together a consultation document on the future of Catholic education in the town, she said.

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