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Priory’s Progress School in Preston Rated Outstanding by Ofsted

  • Progress School has been rated ‘outstanding’ overall and in all categories
  • The school “is a lovely place to be” and “pupils arrive at school with big smiles”, according to inspectors
  • Inspectors praise how “staff have high ambitions for each pupil”
  • Pupils “enjoy the wonder and awe of the natural world”

A Preston specialist school for young people with developmental disabilities, including autism, has been rated ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted, the education watchdog.

Progress School has been rated ‘outstanding’ overall and in all assessment categories; ‘Quality of Education’, ‘Behaviour and Attitudes’, ‘Personal Development’ and ‘Leadership and Management’. Its sixth form provision has also been rated ‘outstanding’.

Following the inspection of the school, Ofsted said: “Progress School is a lovely place to be. Pupils arrive at school with big smiles. They are warmly greeted each morning by nurturing staff. Pupils know they are highly valued. Staff treat pupils with the utmost kindness and respect.”

Inspectors went on to say, “Staff have high ambitions for each pupil. A team of professionals work together to ensure that each pupil achieves well.”

The report praised the range of trips and activities young people take part in. Inspectors mentioned that young people “enjoy the wonder and awe of the natural world, such as when fell walking in the countryside. Pupils visit lakes, waterfalls and mountains”.

“The school’s values thread through the curriculum”, according to inspectors. They went on to say, “Pupils are determined to earn ‘wow’ awards by showing these values. For example, they show resilience in their learning and consideration for others. In DT, we saw pupils working with perseverance to prepare and cook a meal. In a PE lesson visited, pupils applauded each other for their achievements.”

As part of separate feedback to the school, a parent said their child is the “happiest they have been in years”. Another parent said, “Thank you so much you really have been such a positive impact on their life.”

Siobhan Partington, head teacher at Progress School, said: “It is a privilege to lead such a committed staff team who are inspirational in everything they do. It is an incredible achievement to be rated outstanding’ but I have never doubted the value of what we do here. Staff, pupils and their families all deserve huge credit and thanks for working together as a genuine school community to bring about such fantastic outcomes for the pupils.”

Chris Strong, Chief Operating Officer at Priory Education and Children’s Services, said: “Siobhan and all of the team at Progress School do an excellent job in helping young people to achieve their full potential. Every part of this report is glowing and everyone involved with Progress School should be so proud of what they have achieved.”