‘You can be whoever you want to be at this school’

By Jill Dando News

An academy where “kind, empathetic and respectful” students “like coming to school’ has been given a glowing clean sweep of ‘good’ ratings by Ofsted

Priory Community School Academy has been given a clean sweep of good ratings by inspectors. 

It is 10 years since it was given Ofsted outstanding – the first school in Weston-super-Mare in Ofsted’s history. Now inspectors say it has been strengthened even more in all areas since then, even under radical new national guidelines.

In their superb latest report inspectors rated the school as solidly good across the board:

Quality of Education

Behaviour and attitudes

Personal development 

Leadership and management.

Inspectors praised the school’s culture of continuous improvement, in which the school community is relentless in pursuing the best education that can be provided for every single student at the school. 

Inspectors also agreed that the school has been much strengthened in the decade since its last inspection. 

The excellent report saw inspectors declare that students like coming to Priory and noted that they are “kind, empathetic and respectful”. 

They said that one student’s comment echoed that of many others, saying ‘You can be whoever you want to be at this school’. 

Ofsted found that students feel safe and well cared for, have strong relationships with staff and, if they have a concern, they are confident that staff will support them. 

Inspectors praised the fact that students with education, health and care plans receive effective support to enable them to flourish.

And they added that the curriculum helps develop students’ characters well, and supports students to learn about the world beyond school. 

The report also praised the careers programme and said that most students “value the rich extra-curricular offer of sports and cultural clubs, such as yoga, football and music”.

In the comprehensive report, inspectors found that that students develop strong leadership, with some becoming student ambassadors and are great advocates of the school. 

They said that teachers have strong subject knowledge and added that there is good positive behaviour prioritising the social and emotional wellbeing of students, and effective safeguarding.

Principal Angelos Markoutsas said: “This report is incredibly positive about our school. We want to give a massive thanks to our brilliant students, staff, parents, governors and the entire community for helping to bring this about.

“The view of the previous National Director of Education Ofsted said if a previously outstanding school receives a ‘good grade’ it doesn’t mean that the school has declined in recent years, in fact the opposite can be the case.

“This view was echoed by our inspection team who highlighted many elements of excellent provision at Priory, as well as the next steps to take the school forward. We are all passionate to help make this school even better.”

Director of Secondary Education at The Priory Learning Trust, Gregg Morrison, said: “We are so pleased that Ofsted have recognised what TPLT and the local community have known for some time, that Priory is a securely good school. 

“I would like to thank and pay tribute to the leadership of Angelos Markoutsas and his brilliant staff team, who work so hard for the students in their care. We look forward to further improving the school in the coming years.”