Report to praise two Essex schools

By James HoreSTAFF and pupils at two schools will be celebrating today after receiving national recognition for the quality of education they provide.

By James Hore

STAFF and pupils at two schools will be celebrating today after receiving national recognition for the quality of education they provide.

More than 600 schools and colleges in the UK will be singled out by David Bell, the Chief Inspector of Schools, for making outstanding achievements or significant improvements.

The Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted) will publish Mr Bell's annual report on standards and quality in education this morning.

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It will list successful schools and those which have clawed their way out of special measures and are no longer considered to be failing schools.

Among the schools and colleges to be commended in the report will be Colchester Sixth Form College.

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Its principal Ian MacNaughton said: “The college is very pleased that Mr Bell has highlighted us as one of the outstanding providers in the national post-16 college sector in the Ofsted annual report.

“Staff at the college work very hard to provide the best possible sixth-form experience for our students and the recognition of the quality of their work is much appreciated and will provide further encouragement.”

King Edward V1 Grammar School in Chelmsford will also be commended for its Ofsted report.

School headteacher Dr Mike Walker said he was immensely proud of the recognition the school had achieved from the inspection.

“It is so pleasing to see what we have managed to do here with the staff and pupils - it has really been a cumulative effort between everyone,” he added.

“I took over in 1999 and what we have tried to do is get a community feel about the school - then we were able to discuss what our goals were and focus our efforts on achieving them.”

The report will also highlight a previously-failing primary school, which was praised by Ofsted inspectors for its improvements.

Great Bentley Primary School was put on special measures in 1999 because of unsatisfactory management, poor pupil behaviour and low teaching standards in English, maths, science and information technologies.

Ofsted inspectors have since ordered it be taken off the special measures list after the school made a dramatic improvement in its performance.

School headteacher Diana Cleaver said staff were now trying to continue the good work as the school expanded with new classrooms.

“Things here have gone from strength to strength and we are now in the process of having about three-quarters of the school rebuilt,” she added.

Mrs Cleaver said the school was now trying to gain the Essex Healthy Schools Award and thanked all the hard work of the teachers, governors, parents and children.

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