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Staff at once failing school praised by Ofsted inspectors for driving up standards

AN inner city Bradford school that once was judged to be failing has now been praised in every category by Ofsted inspectors.

St Philip’s CE Primary School in Girlington was judged ‘good’ by inspectors, only four years after it was given an inadequate rating.

In 2014 the school was moved up a grade, but still told it needed to improve, but the latest Ofsted report, says “good teaching” helps pupils do well in school.

It also praises head teacher Michelle Hargreaves, whom the report says: “Leads the school with strength, vision and humanity.”

The majority of pupils are of an Asian background, and the school has a higher than average number of pupils who speak English as an additional language. The report said most pupils achieve good results, and disadvantaged children make good progress.

It was the school’s first inspection since it became an academy under the Bradford Diocesan Academies Trust.

The report says: “The head teacher has worked effectively to develop a strong and resilient leadership team in order to ensure continued success for the school.

“Pupils display strong and positive attitudes to learning. They like their school and talk confidently and excitedly about it. They enjoy learning and the activities they experience both in and out of the classroom.

“Leaders have established detailed and mutually respectful relations with parents and the wider community.

“Reading is a strength. Children get off to a flying start in early years and are well prepared for school.

“Pupils’ outcomes across the school and in a range of subjects have improved. The good teaching now in place enables pupils to achieve well.”

The rapid turnaround after Mrs Hargreaves started as head in 2013 led to St Philips winning the School Improvement Award in the Telegraph & Argus Schools awards in 2015.

Carol Dewhurst, CEO of the Trust, said: “Since joining the Trust in 2014, St Philips has been on a transformational journey focussed on driving up standards and making the school a place where children love to learn.

“We are really pleased that the hard work and determination of the leaders, the teachers and the pupils at St Philips has been recognised in this inspection.

“The Academy is in a great place to start the new school year.”

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