Ofsted chief inspector Sir Michael Wilshaw praises improvement at Melton’s St Mary’s CE Primary School

ST Mary's pupils celebrate with headteacher Sharon Deakes (right) and teacher Frances Port.

ST Mary's pupils celebrate with headteacher Sharon Deakes (right) and teacher Frances Port.

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A Melton primary school is celebrating after receiving a letter of praise from Ofsted chief inspector Sir Michael Wilshaw.

The recent letter follows an Ofsted inspection in September 2014, which rated St Mary’s CE Primary as needing improvement overall.

The school has made significant progress since it became a member of the Leicester Academies Charitable Trust in 2013.

In his letter to headteacher Sharon Deackes, Sir Michael said: “Inspectors recognised that you have taken the academy a long way in the short time since it was formed. I was pleased to note the urgency with which you and your team have improved the quality of teaching so that pupils’ achievements are beginning to rise, particularly in mathematics and writing.”

He added: “It’s clear that pupils’ social, moral, spiritual and cultural development is strong and is woven successfully throughout your curriculum, supporting pupils’ understanding of different cultures and beliefs. You, and other leaders, are setting high expectations for St Mary’s and the whole school community is rising to the challenge.”

Ms Deackes said: “I must admit that receiving a letter like this has been very unusual. The letter has given everyone a lift despite not quite getting the rating we wanted. But the fact that Sir Michael has taken the trouble to write to us proves that our hard work to turn the school around isn’t going unrecognised.

“Staff and governors have worked tirelessly as a team to move the school forward rapidly since the last Ofsted inspection and so all credit should go to them.”

Ofsted inspectors who visited the school last year rated its early years provision as ‘outstanding’ and judged the school’s leadership and management and the behaviour and safety of pupils to be ‘good’.

Ms Deackes said that in order for the school to get an overall rating of good or outstanding in the next Ofsted report, within the next two years, staff must keep aspirations high for all the pupils and support them in the areas still of concern.