Sunderland school requiring improvement is praised by Ofsted chief inspector

A school classed as requiring improvement in its first Ofsted inspection has received praise from the education watchdog’s boss.

Thursday, 24th October 2019, 4:45 pm
Updated Thursday, 24th October 2019, 5:47 pm
The Beacon of Light School, based next to the Stadium of Light, has received praise from Ofsted chief inspector Amanda Spielman.

While the rating is the third highest out of four grades, inspectors visiting the Beacon of Light School, next to Sunderland Stadium of Light football ground, concluded that it was still “improving strongly”.

Plus points in their report have also prompted Ofsted chief inspector Amanda Spielman to write to Beacon of Light principal Denise Taylor.

In her letter, she said: “Although your school was judged to require improvement overall, I was pleaded to see that leadership and management were judged to be good.

Beacon of Light principal Denise Taylor.

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“It is clear from the inspection report that as a result of your commitment and determination the school is improving.

“I am pleased to read that pupils now behave well at school, are focused on their learning and show respect for each other.

“It is really positive that members of staff are benefiting from the professional development opportunities that you have provided for them.

“Furthermore, I am pleased to read that you and your team have a clear sense of direction and a good understanding of where things need to improve.”

Inspectors found the quality of teaching at the school is “too variable” and that the standards of pupil’s spelling, punctuation and grammar are too low by the time pupils leave Year 11.

The school, which was founded in 2016 and provides alternative provision for pupils aged 13-16 who are sent there on placements from mainstream schools, insists steps are already in place to secure improvements.

Mrs Taylor said: “There was a great deal to celebrate in the report and we are delighted to have received this level of support from the chief inspector of Ofsted. Our staff go ‘the extra mile’ on a daily basis to ensure all young people feel happy, safe and supported to achieve their potential.

“This commitment and dedication is clearly evident from staff and also within the ‘good’ student behaviour highlighted in the report.”