• Mon. Dec 11th, 2023

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A MIDDLESBROUGH school is top of the class in the latest national performance tables.

Holmwood School has been ranked England’s top performing Special School – ahead of nearly 1,000 up and down the country.

In the newly published Department for Education tables for 2016, the Saltersgill Avenue School is in first place for progress in Maths and Reading and first for achievement in Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling (GPS) and Maths.

The impressive achievements are backed up with fourth place rankings for progress in Writing and achievement in Reading.

The Middlesbrough school offers a nurturing educational provision for 80 children with special needs from reception age to the end of Year 6.

The school specialises in educating children with social, emotional and mental health needs, autism, communication and interaction needs and cognitive difficulties.

The pupils come from across Middlesbrough and beyond, reflecting the area’s wide social mix and ethnic make-up.

Holmwood Headteacher Dennis Ley said: “Holmwood School aims to provide an outstanding education for children with special needs, and these tables are official recognition that we’re right on track.

“None of this would be possible without the dedication, commitment and professionalism of our staff, with invaluable support from our parents, carers and governors.

“Of course there’s no room for complacency, and the school’s goal now is to build on this success and turn those fourth into firsts.

“As well as support from other primary schools, Holmwood wouldn’t be the school it is without the positive relationship with The Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service, Social Services, the Speech and Language Service, Simon Carson Sports, Yoga Bugs, the Rotary Club and others.

“And most important of all are the children themselves who can be rightly proud of helping to make their school one of the very best in the country.”

Sue Pattison, Holmwood School’s Chair of Governors, said: “The success of the school is due to the excellent management and leadership as well as the dedication and hard work from all of the staff.

“The Governing Body is very proud of the outstanding achievements of all the children at Holmwood School.”

Councillor Jan Brunton, Middlesbrough Council’s Executive Member for Education and Skills, said: “All our schools play a vital role in ensuring our young people have the best possible start in life.

“Holmwood provides that security and nurturing support for some of the most vulnerable and challenging pupils in our communities, and these results are proof that Middlesbrough is providing the best possible education for them.

“The headteacher, staff and everyone involved with the school deserves enormous credit for a terrific and truly life-changing achievement.”