Saint Benedict Catholic Voluntary Academy has been rated ‘good’ in every category and ‘good’ overall by Ofsted inspectors.

Mr Gritton and senior leaders were praised by Ofsted for their ‘determined leadership’ which has led to rapid improvement.

Inspectors carried out a full inspection over two days last month and they praised the ‘broad and balanced’ curriculum, the quality of teaching, the personal development of students and the professional development of staff.

Inspectors also said that safeguarding was effective and that students with special educational needs or disabilities were well supported.

The report noted that students behaved well and were polite, smart and courteous, progress was now good in most subjects and levels of attendance had improved overall.

The school’s Sixth Form was also praised by inspectors who said that the quality of teaching, learning and assessment was consistently good and that the leadership was ‘strong and ambitious for the future’.

Inspectors said that support provided by governors and the new Saint Ralph Sherwin Multi-Academy Trust – which Saint Benedict will join in September 2018 – had been instrumental in the school’s success.

Lead inspector Chris Stevens said in his report: “The determined leadership of the headteacher has brought about rapid improvements at the school. Together with the senior team, he has thoughtfully restructured leadership within the school to great effect, maintaining a positive staff morale with a clear sense of common purpose.

“Leaders have a strong vision for the school, underpinned by a comprehensive and meticulous development plan. Leaders have been successful in creating a culture of high expectations for all pupils and staff.”

Inspectors noted that pastoral care was a strength of the school, particularly in the care extended towards vulnerable pupils who may find themselves in difficulty, and they said that students were well prepared for life in modern Britain.

They said that the leadership of the school’s enhanced resource base, which is designed for students with special educational needs and disabilities, was highly specialised and effective.

The report said that students benefitted from consistently good teaching, which meant that they achieved well and that teachers’ expectations of what students could achieve was high.

Inspectors also highlighted students’ good behaviour and said: “Pupils are polite, courteous and helpful. They are punctual to lessons and follow instructions from staff promptly. They wear their uniform with pride. A distinctive feature of pupils’ behaviour in this school is their sense of community and the care that they extend towards one another.”

Students’ progress was also noted and the report said that in 2017, students made good progress by the end of Key Stage Four in a number of subjects, with outcomes in languages described as ‘particularly good’.

Inspectors said: “Current school information shows that pupils’ progress across the school continues to strengthen for all groups of pupils.”

Mr Gritton said he was pleased with the outcome of the recent inspection.

He said: “We are delighted that inspectors have recognised all of the hard work that has been done by senior leaders and staff across the school since the previous inspection.

“We are extremely proud of our wonderful school and the sense of community that exists here and we were pleased to see this mentioned in the report.

“Our students are thriving and will always continue to be at the centre of everything we do.

“We are determined to continue improving our school and the outcomes for our students and we believe that this judgement is just the next step to Saint Benedict CVA becoming ‘outstanding’.”

You can read the full report here: