School’s good rating is a first

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A school for children with social, emotional and mental health needs has been graded ‘good’ by an education watchdog for the first time in its history.

High Well School, based at Rookhill Road in Pontefract, was praised by inspectors after they visited in May.

They said staff worked “exceptionally hard” to ensure pupils left with a wide a range of qualifications as possible and they offered “carefully targeted support” to ensure disadvantaged students made good progress.

Their report read: “Teachers and support staff have high expectations of pupils’ behaviour and academic performance.

“Staff work closely as a team and support pupils to achieve as much as possible from a wide range of starting points, and this ensures that pupils make good progress overall.”

Coun Olivia Rowley, Wakefield Council’s cabinet member for children and young people congratulated staff, students, parents and governors for the achievement.

Louise Quinn, headteacher, said: “It has been a privilege to lead the team alongside the Executive Headteacher on this journey, which although has included many challenges has now culminated in a fantastic report which reflects our focus on high expectations and preparing our pupils for positive futures.”

The school, for pupils aged 11 to 16, was first inspected in 2006, when it was graded as ‘satisfactory’. In 2013, it was placed in special measures after being deemed ‘inadequate’ and has since progressed to ‘requires improvement’ and now ‘good’.

The school, which was formerly based in South Hiendley, has been working closely with Featherstone Academy to offer new subjects including tiling and construction.

It was graded ‘good’ in all areas.