Sunderland school named in top 2% nationwide for pupil progress

St Paul's CE Primary School pupils celebrate with headteacher, Natalie Fountain, Year 6 teacher, Kathryn Rowland and assistant headteacher, Jackie Graham.
St Paul's CE Primary School pupils celebrate with headteacher, Natalie Fountain, Year 6 teacher, Kathryn Rowland and assistant headteacher, Jackie Graham.

A Sunderland primary school has been hailed by a Government minister after being named one of the best achieving in the country for pupils progress.

St Paul’s CE Primary School has officially been named as among the top 2% of primaries in England.

St Paul's CE Primary School headteacher, Natalie Fountain.

St Paul's CE Primary School headteacher, Natalie Fountain.

The pupils, staff and governors of the Ryhope school have been left elated by the news.

As well as clinching a good Ofsted rating, the school has also been sent a letter from schools minister, Nick Gibb MP, commending their incredible achievement of being rated in the top 2% of schools across the whole country for the progress their pupils make from Key Stage 1 to Key Stage 2.

Natalie Fountain, headteacher at the Waterworks Road school, said: “It is a true privilege to be headteacher at St Paul’s CE Primary School.

“We have amazing pupils who achieve exceptionally well at all stages of their education, supportive parents who are grateful for the opportunities given to their children, dedicated governors who give up their own time to support and direct the work of the school, as well as hard-working and exceptionally skilled staff who always go that extra mile to secure the best for all children, regardless of the role they have in school.

It is a true privilege to be headteacher at St Paul’s CE Primary School

Natalie Fountain

“It’s a wonderful school.”

Following the recent changes to the Ofsted framework, schools inspected in 2018 can no longer move from a rating of ‘good’ to ‘outstanding’ following a short inspection.

This untimely change meant that despite St Paul’s also being rated in the top ten for best schools in the country achieving the higher standard at the end of Key Stage 2, the school retained good at its most recent inspection.

However, in their report, the inspector said: “I am of the opinion that the school has demonstrated strong practice and marked improvement in certain areas. This may indicate that the school is improving towards being outstanding.”

Headteacher, Natalie Fountain, front, with Year 6 teacher, Kathryn Rowland, left,  and assistant headteacher, Jackie Graham, celebrate with students at St Paul's CE Primary.

Headteacher, Natalie Fountain, front, with Year 6 teacher, Kathryn Rowland, left, and assistant headteacher, Jackie Graham, celebrate with students at St Paul's CE Primary.

Ms Fountain said due to the excellent progress the school will can expect another inspection within the next two years and leaders and governors are hopeful that the school will continue to improve and that inspectors will also see this when they next visit the school.

Schools Minister Nick Gibb

Schools Minister Nick Gibb