A Blackpool school faced with social problems in one of the country’s most deprived areas has earned its highest ever rating for giving children the best start in life.
Claremont Primary School has earned its personal best inspection approval from Ofsted, to be rated as “good” for its teaching and learning and told its care for children is “outstanding”.
Almost three-quarters of the 459 children at the school, on Westminster Road, are from disadvantaged backgrounds, and there is also a high number of children with special needs, as well as transient numbers.
This makes the school’s commitment to realising every child’s potential all the more “tremendous”, council bosses have said.
The report highlights:
> Pupils across the school make good progress and achieve well from their different starting points;
> Disadvantaged pupils, disabled pupils and those who have special educational needs make good progress and achieve well;
> School leaders and governors have worked well together to improve the quality of teaching and raise pupils’ achievement;
> Pupils enjoy coming to school, behave well and are keen to learn.
Headteacher Kirsty Sutton has said the report is “fabulous”, but that she and her staff are already striving towards an overall “outstanding” rating.
She said: “We’re thrilled, this is a step up, we want to secure this position and be working quickly towards outstanding.
“We’ve all pulled together. We’re a very inclusive school and embrace all our pupils, all their potential, and want them to achieve their best.
“We believe in every child and don’t ever allow there to be a ceiling.”
The report highlights how the attitude of children with behavioural problems has improved, and how children are “proud” to go to the school, which has improved attendance levels.
It also notes that “vulnerable” children are kept “safe and secure” and that overall children are polite and play enthusiastically and safely.
Mrs Sutton added: “We were absolutely thrilled to have our work around safeguarding recognised as outstanding.”
Coun Ivan Taylor, a governor at the school and cabinet member for education on Blackpool Council, said the community was “really pleased” with the report.
He added: “It’s absolutely wonderful.
“The report says children look forward to school, work heard and are well behaved.
“There’s no excuses if the school is in a difficult area, there’s no reason they can’t have a good school.
“It’s even more important that children from deprived backgrounds get a good start.
“I can praise enough the headteacher, the staff, parents and the children themselves.”
And Claremont ward councillor Sylvia Taylor said: “We’re thrilled to bits with the improvements the school has made under the guidance of the new headteacher.
“A couple of years ago the school was nearly in special measures, so this is tremendous news.”