middlesbrough-moving-forwardA MIDDLESBROUGH school’s drive to improve has been endorsed in the last report from Ofsted.

When HM Inspector Brian Blake visited Prince Bishop School earlier this month, he found significant progress during a two-day inspection.

The school in Saltersgill Avenue has been in special measures since December, 2014 when inspectors found it to be ‘inadequate’ in a number of key areas including leadership and quality of teaching.

In his latest monitoring report, Mr Blake said he was satisfied that the school’s management team was taking ‘effective action’ to take the school out of special measures.

He also gives the go-ahead for the appointment of newly qualified teachers before the next Ofsted inspection.

The school has now been the subject of five monitoring reviews, with the last four showing continued improvement.

Mr Blake points to a number of areas where progress has been made, including greater focus on students with challenging learning and behavioural needs, and stronger leadership and management.

While occasionally inconsistent, the quality of teaching was found to have ‘improved significantly’ particularly in the core areas of English, maths and science.

The inspector recommends greater engagement with pupils during lessons, and a greater degree of challenge in some areas.

Attendance was found to be improving, but more needs to be done to improve figures and minimise negative impacts on students’ education.

Support and monitoring by the local authority were deemed to be making a ‘very positive contribution’ in holding school leaders and governors to account.

Headteacher Elaine Tasker said: “I’m pleased that this latest monitoring visit acknowledges the improvements that have been put in place at Prince Bishop.

“While challenges undoubtedly remain, it is an endorsement of the approach we have taken, and a credit to the hard work of staff and students alike.”

Councillor Jan Brunton, Middlesbrough Council’s Executive Member for Education and Skills, said: “Elaine, her team and all the students at Prince Bishop can take considerable pride in the significant progress that has been made, and which is so clearly reflected in the latest Ofsted monitoring inspection.

“Leadership, management and governance at the school have all been strengthened and improved, and with them the quality of teaching.

“I am confident that the school is now firmly on track to come out of special measures and that can only benefit the students in the long term.

“Of course there can never be room for complacency, and we will continue to offer every support to Prince Bishop to ensure the school keeps moving in the right direction.”