School is praised by Ofsted inspectors

Published Monday, 25th February 2019

A Hartlepool school is celebrating after being rated ‘good’ by Ofsted inspectors.

When St Helen’s Primary School in Durham Street was last inspected in 2016 it was judged as “requiring improvement,” but inspectors who visited the school in January this year have spoken very highly of it in their newly-published report.

As well as rating the school’s overall effectiveness as ‘good,’ Ofsted also gave a ‘good’ rating to all key areas, including: effectiveness of leadership and management; quality of teaching, learning and assessment; personal development, behaviour and welfare; outcomes for pupils and Early Years provision.


The latest report says: “The headteacher has established a culture of high expectation that has transformed the learning environment. She has inspired her wider team to decisively improve the academic progress and personal welfare of pupils.     

“The headteacher has built a strong senior leadership team which works closely with colleagues to support progress. This team ethos has made a significant contribution to school improvements since the last inspection.”

Commenting on the quality of teaching, learning and assessment, the inspectors said the headteacher and her team have revitalised the reading culture to improve standards, are developing a range of strategies to develop pupils’ mathematical understanding and offer much support to help pupils plan their writing.    

On pupils’ personal development and welfare, Ofsted said: “Staff are mindful of pupils’ needs. They have created a culture of mutual respect where pupils feel valued and well supported. Pupils are consistently polite and courteous ... they show care and consideration towards one another and adults.”

In terms of outcomes for pupils, the inspectors said: “The concerted actions of leaders and teachers to secure improvements since the last inspection bore fruit in 2018. At Key Stage 2, pupils made good progress in all subjects and particularly in reading and mathematics.

“In addition, the proportion of pupils who achieved expected standards in reading, writing and mathematics was well above that seen nationally.”

They added: “The improving picture at Key Stage 2 was reflected at Key Stage 1 where the proportion of pupils reaching or exceeding expected standards was in line with or above that seen nationally. This represents strong progress for pupils from their starting points.

“The improvements evident in 2018 are being sustained and are evident across many other year groups.”

Carole Bradley, St Helen’s Primary School Headteacher, said: “The staff and governors are all extremely proud of the tremendous work carried out by everyone involved with the school since its previous inspection in 2016 – this dedication and tenacity has paid dividends.

“We would also like to pay tribute to our wonderful pupils and to parents and carers who give us such marvellous support.

“St Helen’s strives to be a ‘beacon’ within the local community and cherishes its close partnership with local people. Together we make a difference and we’ll continue to do everything we can to achieve the very best for our children.”

Councillor Brenda Harrison, Chair of Hartlepool Borough Council’s Children’s Services Committee, said: “This is great news from St Helen’s Primary School – everyone involved should be very proud of the progress which has been made and the praise which they have received from Ofsted.

“I send them my sincere congratulations and look forward to their continued success in the years ahead.”