A Bury St Edmunds school which was granted a reprieve from closure nearly two years ago has retained the increasingly tough to achieve ‘outstanding’ rating from Ofsted.
St Louis Catholic Middle was due to shut at the end of this term under the Catholic diocese’s controversial plan to move to two tier education in the town earlier than expected - until the Schools Adjudicator overturned the decision.
The school, in St Andrew’s Street South, has now been ranked ‘outstanding’ across all areas with inspectors praising the ‘exceptionally high quality of education for all its pupils, who are exceptionally well prepared for the next stage in their lives’.
They also highlighted the teaching which is ‘consistently good or better and a very high proportion is outstanding’.
Meanwhile, leaders and managers ‘work extremely effectively to ensure the school continues to improve - this results in an excellent learning experience for all pupils’.
It last received the top grade in 2010.
Rose Heap, who has taken on the role of headteacher on a permanent basis after serving in an acting capacity, said: “At times quite a dark picture was painted about what St Louis might be like in the future.
“I’m absolutely delighted that the report confirms we’ve always maintained our promise that no children are in anyway held back by the situation.
“If anything we’re doing better than ever.”
She said the rating was made ‘even more special’ as Ofsted has tightened its framework making it harder for schools to achieve ‘outstanding’.
In a letter to parents, Siobhan Watson, chairman of governors at St Louis, added: “An outstanding Ofsted report doesn’t just happen by chance or luck.
“It is the culmination of years of forward planning together with massive attention to small detail; it shows leadership, aspiration, humility and above all teamwork.”
Bury St Edmunds is expected to make the transition to two tier schooling in 2016 and the future shape of Catholic education in the town is currently being discussed.
Mrs Heap said: “At the moment we’re at a very important stage in the process where the schools are working together to write their consultation document which will go out to parents to enable them to understand what the future picture for Catholic education will look like.”