Top marks for ‘outstanding’ Blackpool primary school

Pictured is headteacher Jonathan Clucas with pupils Rosie Loughlin, Teagan Felton, Alfy George, Adam Greenaway, Jack Burrill and Bailey Grove

The headteacher at a primary school handed the best possible score after an Ofsted inspection said he believes it can improve even further.

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Staff and pupils at Layton Primary School are celebrating after being judged outstanding by Ofsted. Assistant headteacher Claire Jones and headteacher Jonathan Clucas go over the report with pupils.

Layton Primary School has been labelled ‘outstanding’ by the education watchdog, after being rated ‘good’ four years ago, and Jonathan Clucas said there will be a ‘quiet celebration’ before work continues in earnest.

He said: “We always look for ways to improve. That’s where the most fun is.”

A team of inspectors spent two days at the Meyler Avenue school, where they watched lessons, checked pupils’ work and school records, and spoke to parents and teachers.

They then gave the school top marks in each of the five key areas they judged.

Mr Clucas was described as ‘inspirational’ and said to have an ‘unwavering determination to provide the very best for all pupils’, while his ‘enthusiastic’ staff provide ‘exceptional opportunities for pupils to be the best’.

The school’s use of technology was also hailed, while ‘thriving’ pupils’ behaviour was said to be ‘impeccable’.

Layton, which has around 600 pupils, has more disadvantaged children than the average school, and most arrive with ‘skills and knowledge below those typical for their age and occasionally well below’, the report said.

But they go on to make ‘outstanding progress’ by the time they leave, with the number of pupils achieving the expect standard in reading, writing, maths, grammar, spelling, and punctuation now ‘well above’ the national average.

Earlier this year, the school was congratulated by school standards minister Nick Gibb MP – for the second year running – after coming in the top three per cent nationally for pupils’ progress.

And Ofsted said: “At the core of its success is the resolute view that the highest quality of teaching and learning ‘must run through the school like a piece of Blackpool rock’.”

Mr Clucas added: “Children’s potential can’t be measured by where they were born or where they grow up. All have the potential to be special – our job is to harness that love for learning.”

He praised his ‘passionate’ teachers, and thanked governors, parents, and pupils for their support.

Praise given

Andy Mellor, headteacher at St Nicholas in Marton and vice-president of the National Association of Headteachers, said he was ‘absolutely delighted’ by Layton’s result.

He said: “Mr Clucas and the staff should be highly delighted with an outcome with demonstrates what can be achieved with a relentless focus on school improvement, and high quality teaching and learning.

“Blackpool schools are moving in the right direction and this inspection is further evidence of this.”

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