Multi-cultural school celebrates ‘outstanding’ success

A NORTH-EAST primary school is celebrating ‘outstanding’ success after overcoming a unique set of challenges.

Darlington’s Corporation Road Primary School, which has pupils from 27 different countries, was judged to be ‘Good’ overall after an Ofsted report.

And the school, which is part of Lingfield Education Trust, was rated as ‘Outstanding’ in three areas: Personal Development; Early Years Provision; and Behaviour and Attitudes, which inspectors said were exceptional.

It is a remarkable turnround for the school considering it was rated as ‘Inadequate’ after an Ofsted inspection in 2016, and ‘Requiring Improvement’ in 2019.

Headteacher, Mark Dipple, said: “This is just a great result for all of us – the staff; the local community that we serve; but, most of all, the pupils.

“Our school is unique in Darlington. We have children from 27 different countries, many of them coming in as non-English speakers, or have English as their second language.

“This report is testament to the care and hard work of the staff, who consistently support our children to achieve well academically and expertly guide them to become great citizens.

“It’s been a massive team effort to turn the school around, and the trust has been wholly supportive throughout.”

The report recognised that the school has high expectations for all its pupils, with high levels of respect shown by both pupils and staff, and celebrates diversity and equality.

One pupil told the inspectors: “We come from lots of different countries, but we’re all the same.”

And a parent was quoted as saying: “I consider this school to be my family and the family of my children.”

The report also highlighted extra-curricular clubs and trips, ensuring that all pupils have the opportunity to attend; and how pupils are encouraged to take on responsibilities.

It gave credit to the understanding that the governors and trustees have of the school and the community that it serves, and the swift action taken to promote attendance and punctuality.

Lingfield Education Trust chief executive, Nick Blackburn, said he was proud of the school and Mark’s leadership.

“Everyone has worked incredibly hard,” he said. “The school, which was founded in 1895, has never had Outstanding judgements in its history, and, today, it’s in the best state it’s ever been in.

“I am deeply proud of our lovely community and the staff, and really proud of what the children and parents have said about the school.”

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