Sunderland academy gets top praise from inspectors

Thrilled to bits... the latest Osted report for Barbara Priestman Academy has delighted the staff and pupils.
Thrilled to bits... the latest Osted report for Barbara Priestman Academy has delighted the staff and pupils.
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A CITY academy has been highly praised by education bosses.

Ofsted inspectors have rated Barbara Priestman Academy as good with some outstanding features.

We have a great staff team here, not just our teachers, but support staff are brilliant as well.

Carolyn Barker, headteacher at the specialist secondary academy, in Meadowside, which caters for young people with autism and other complex needs, said she was thrilled with the outcome of the inspection.

She said: “We are really, really pleased with the report. The inspectors saw all the things we wanted them to see, so that is great for the team.

“We have a great staff team here, not just our teachers, but support staff are brilliant as well.

“Everyone works together to get the best out of each pupil, which is key.”

In their report, the inspectors said: “The headteacher is highly ambitious for the academy. She leads a committed and highly effective staff team who have the highest expectations for their students.

“The quality of teaching is consistently good. Teachers and teaching assistants use a range of strategies, including questioning, extremely well to help students develop their thinking skills.

“The curriculum is exceptionally rich and varied to match the different needs, interests and abilities of the students. It ensures students’ personal development is exceptional.

“Students enjoy excellent relationships with staff and this supports outstanding behaviour and helps them to feel very safe. Students have extremely positive attitudes to learning and work hard in lessons.”

Inspectors said the school’s sixth form is also good and has an exciting curriculum and students mature into responsible and considerate young people who are ready to take their place in society.