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ONE of the region’s most successful schools has won high praise from inspectors for continuing its journey towards being recognised as ‘outstanding’.

Stokesley School, which attracts students from a wide area covering North Yorkshire and Middlesbrough, retains its ‘good’ status after the first inspection under tougher Government guidelines.

The inspection comes in the wake of education league tables that placed Stokesley in the top fifth of schools nationally.

A member of Areté Learning Trust with Richmond School, the school was praised by inspectors for maintaining the quality of education since the last inspection in 2015.

Chief inspector Darren Stewart said: “I am of the opinion that the school has demonstrated strong practice and marked improvement in certain areas. This may indicate that the school is improving towards being outstanding.”

He praised senior leadership for their self-evaluation which was incisive and precise and meant the school improvement plan was focussing on the areas of most significance.

He said: “You lead by example and are highly capable professionals. It is evident that you and other leaders show resolute determination and your actions are having a positive impact on key areas that need to improve further.”

Inspectors highlighted how staff strive to ensure that pupils in the main school and sixth form receive the highest quality of education and experiences in preparation for their futures.

Governors were praised for providing effective challenge and support, sustaining improvements and for being aware of the areas that needed further attention.

Effective systems to monitor different aspects of the school’s work, including the quality of teaching across the school and in the sixth form, were also singled out.

Mr Stewart said: “The caring and compassionate ethos permeates the school, promoting a culture of mutual respect between staff and pupils. Pupils are highly appreciative of all that staff do for them and they are unequivocally confident that staff will go the ‘extra mile’ for them to ensure that they achieve their very best.

“Behaviour around the school site and in lessons is exemplary. Movement is calm, orderly and courteous. Pupils are proud of their school. They wear their uniforms with pride and look very smart in their respective house colours.”

He highlighted that the vast majority of parents and carers who completed Ofsted’s Parent View online questionnaire showed confidence in the school, felt their children were safe and happy and they would recommend the school to another parent.

Stokesley School head teacher Catherine Brooker was delighted with the findings. She said: “I am thrilled that there is so much to celebrate and that inspectors agreed with our future priorities.

“I must pay tribute to the hard work and commitment of the staff, as well as the excellent behaviour and attitude to learning of our students and the support of their parents, which were recognised by the inspection team.”

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