Joy as Portsmouth school becomes first secondary in seven years to clinch '˜outstanding' Ofsted report

THIS achievement will kickstart the transformation of education across our region.

Wednesday, 2nd March 2016, 6:00 am
St Edmund's Catholic School in Portsmouth, has received a 'outstanding' Ofsted report. Headteacher Simon Graham is pictured with students at the school Picture: Sarah Standing (160462-5528)

That’s the message from leaders after St Edmund’s Catholic School became the first secondary in Portsmouth in seven years to be rated as outstanding in all areas by Ofsted inspectors.

Praise has been heaped on the school after a report revealed there is ‘outstanding leadership at every level’ and ‘no pupil is overlooked’.

It is said that teachers are ‘highly knowledgeable about how pupils learn and plan meticulously to carve out improvements.

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This ‘unswerving commitment’ to improving teaching is accelerating improvements for pupils, say inspectors.

City council leader Councillor Donna Jones says she’s delighted at the result, and believes it will lead to schools across the city raising their game.

Cllr Jones, who has unveiled plans to spend £4.7m improving schools so they can provide more places and be better places of learning, said: ‘This will act as a catalyst in helping other schools reaching outstanding status, boosting the local economy, and it means more employers and the very best teachers will want to come here.

‘Every child deserves access to outstanding education.

‘Education has been below par in the city for a number of years, and that simply isn’t good enough. We have set about improving school buildings and creating new school places.’

Last year, the proportion of St Edmund’s pupils gaining five or more A* to C GCSE grades was above national levels, despite students starting off with broadly ‘average levels of attainment’.

The report adds: ‘This represents outstanding progress for this cohort of pupils.

‘Pupils currently in Year 11 are confidently predicted to make similar progress according to the school’s information.’

The last school in the city to achieve an outstanding Ofsted was Springfield, in Drayton, in 2009.

St Edmund’s headteacher Simon Graham said: ‘This is a great Ofsted report, which reads as the school is. It reflects on the things that happen in the school on a daily basis.

‘We aim to support and help other schools to follow our journey.’

Today the school was set to celebrate with a balloon release ceremony.