‘Good’ marks for High Peak school after Ofsted visit

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Ofsted has praised a secondary school in Buxton as pupils grades are higher than the national average.

The education watchdog visited St Thomas More School and the report shows standards are still ‘good’ - the second highest rating.

Addressing the headteacher Brendan Hickey, inspector Zarina Connolly said: “You have led the school well and continued to ensure staff are true to the core values of the school.”

The previous inspection in 2013 identified some weaknesses in teaching to support pupils of different abilities but Ms Connolly said: “The headteacher and the leadership team have successfully ensured the most able achieve the high grades expected of them. The proportion of pupils achieving As and A*s across a range of subjects has consistently been higher than the national average.”

The report noted that subject leaders’ action plans to tackle the slower progress made by disadvantaged and low-attaining pupils vary in quality and focus between subjects.

However, it was noted Mr Hickey understands the importance of raising the profile these students and some of the actions taken so far are beginning to make a difference.

The next steps for the school are to include ‘sharper success criteria in the school’s development plans to help the governing body hold leaders to account more effectively’.

Mr Hickey said: “We are really pleased that Ofsted have recognised that we are still a good school. We don’t do what we do for Ofsted – we do it for the benefit of the pupils.

“It is all credit to the staff and pupils: they have shown great resilience in the face of significant changes to the curriculum, examinations and financial cuts.”