Top marks! School gets ‘outstanding’ grade once again

Priory School were awarded the top prize in a Suffolk Waste Partnership Christmas recycling project

Priory School were awarded the top prize in a Suffolk Waste Partnership Christmas recycling project in December 2017. The school has retained its 'outstanding' status from Ofsted Picture: GREGG BROWN

A Bury St Edmunds special school has retained its ‘outstanding’ rating from Ofsted after teachers were praised for putting pupils “at the centre of all decisions”.

Priory School, in Mount Road in the town, received the top grading from the education watchdog following a short inspection last month.

The state-funded special school, which has 188 pupils ranging in age from five to 18, was eligible for a short inspection after being graded outstanding in November 2014.

Lawrence Chapman, headteacher, said the school will not be resting on its laurels following the glowing report.

“We are delighted with the outcome of the inspection,” he said. “This recognises the hard work of students and staff.

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“We are not complacent and we will that we always keep working hard to achieves even better outcomes for our students.

“I am especially pleased that Ofsted have reported that ‘all pupils make outstanding progress from their starting points and without exception older pupils move on to education, employment and training when they leave school’.”

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In a letter to the headteacher, Ofsted inspector Lynda Walker said: “[The] calm and quiet determination to improve the school further is evident and you put the needs of the pupils at the centre of all decisions.

“Pupils are very happy at the Priory. They feel safe and secure in the stimulating learning environment that you have created for them, and they respond very well to the wide range of strategies that you employ to ensure their success.

“Parents are also extremely complimentary about the school.

“They value the high-quality support and advice that they receive from the staff, and they could not praise them highly enough for their dedication, flexibility and commitment that ensures that their children’s individual needs are met.”

Priory is the founding school in the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Academy Trust (SENDAT) multi-academy trust, which focuses on specialist education.

Neil Kellett, chairman of the directors, said “I am delighted that Ofsted recognise the hard work of all the staff, and outstanding progress and attainment of the young people we work with.”

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