Specailist school gets Ofsted praise

AN IPSWICH school has today been singled out for praise by inspectors. The Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted) published a report on specialist schools highlighting work done at St Alban's Catholic High School, in Digby Road, Ipswich.

AN IPSWICH school has today been singled out for praise by inspectors.

The Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted) published a report on specialist schools highlighting work done at St Alban's Catholic High School, in Digby Road, Ipswich.

The 840 pupil school was first awarded specialist technology college status in 1994, and again in 1997, 2000 and 2003.

An Ofsted spokeswoman said: "An example of good practice in inclusion was observed in St Albans Catholic School, where the head of design and technology taught a GCSE course at a Pupil Referral Unit.

"Many pupils had experienced poor and sporadic education at Key Stage 3 and needed individual support to meet the requirements of the course.

"Careful planning between staff at both establishments enabled 10 pupils in Year 10 to start a design and technology course, with some extra teaching time funded by the technology college.

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"These links helped pupils to continue with their studies after the age of 16."

Headteacher Dennis McGarry said he was delighted that the school had been recognised.

He said: "There are many benefits to the school in having a specialist status, but one of the requirements is that the local community should also benefit.

"One of the projects we are running concerns teaching GCSE Technology at a pupil referral unit.

"This project receives time and funding from our specialist status funds as well as the use of our technology facilities.

"Both teaching and support staff are involved in this activity and it is very pleasing for them to see their work recognised in an official report."

This is the second time that the school has received national recognition since the start of the year. In January, Ofsted produced an 'honours list' of the most outstanding schools in England, St Alban's Catholic High School was one of the 234 schools mentioned twice in chief inspectors' annual reports over the last decade.

Stephen Twigg MP, Minister for Education, wrote to the school last month to congratulate the headteacher, governors and staff on their achievement.

n. Has your child benefitted from the specialist status at the school? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or email eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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