Awards honour gold star pupils and staff

Banbury Cake: Representatives of 33 Oxfordshire schools and some of their pupils met at the Kassam Stadium to celebrate either retaining their Ofsted grading or improving it Buy this photo » Representatives of 33 Oxfordshire schools and some of their pupils met at the Kassam Stadium to celebrate either retaining their Ofsted grading or improving it

THIRTY-three Oxfordshire schools have been recognised for their hard work at a ceremony at Oxford’s Kassam Stadium.

Each of the schools were inspected by Ofsted last year and either retained an outstanding rating or improved their grade.

Ninety-three county schools were inspected last year, meaning over a third either managed to maintain standards at the highest level or post improvements.

The Excellence in Oxfordshire Awards are a new initiative aimed at rewarding schools which have proved they are doing well.

The awards were presented by Oxfordshire County Council education cabinet member Melinda Tilley on Wednesday.

Mrs Tilley said: “Headteachers, governors and students have all worked extremely hard to maintain or improve standards within their schools. This is an excellent achievement and we wanted to recognise and celebrate their success.”

The awards come at a time when educational under-attainment in Oxfordshire is under the spotlight, with Oxford city’s results in particular among the worst in the country and the countywide results comparing poorly to the most similar counties.

But results this year, particularly at Key Stage 1 and 2, showed significant improvements.

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A reading campaign has been launched, backed by the Oxford Mail, to drive up standards among the youngest children.

Mrs Tilley said: “There is no room for complacency, however, for standards in Oxfordshire need to continually improve.

“We hope that schools due to be inspected this year may gain from the experience and expertise of those schools highlighted today.”

Among those recognised was New Marston Primary School, which improved its Ofsted grade from satisfactory to good.

Headteacher Zara d’Archambaud said: “We always knew New Marston was a good school but we had to wait for our inspection in June 2012 to officially judge our provision as good.

“Oxfordshire schools are making every effort to raise standards and this appears to be reflected in this year’s results.

“I know all headteachers and schools are working very hard to ensure that all children get the best education they can and I feel confident that the upward trend in achievement is set to continue.”

St Gregory the Great School, Oxford, was among the six secondaries receiving the accolade. Headteacher John Hussey said: “We’re delighted to be invited to this celebration.

“Our Ofsted grade of good with outstanding features was testimony to the hard work and dedication of students, teachers, governors and all those associated with St Gregory the Great.

“It’s lovely to have that recognised.”

Wood Farm Primary School managed to secure a good grade while in the middle of a major building project.

Headteacher David Lewin said: “It has been a very successful few years for us, culminating in a good Ofsted judgement.

“Schools have been busy working hard all the time but what the county council is doing to galvanise the community support is really good.

“The pupil results this year reflect the hard work that’s going on and the improvements that are happening.”

You can view the full Schools ofsted table.pdf

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