Bexhill school praised by Ofsted for making ‘extensive improvements’

A Bexhill school has been praised by Ofsted inspectors for making big improvements.

St Mary’s School and College, in Wrestwood Road, which caters for pupils with additional needs, was judged as ‘Inadequate’ by education inspectors three years ago.

But in their latest report, published this week, the school received a ‘Good’ rating, with some aspects of the school being rated as ‘Outstanding’.

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In their report, inspectors said: “Everyone is exceptionally kind and welcoming. Pupils enjoy learning with their friends and their trusted adults. Thoughtful support is provided daily that helps pupils feel safe.

Natalie Edwards, principal of St Mary's School and College, with students SUS-221005-132848001

“Everyone has the highest expectations for what each pupil can achieve. Pupils appreciate the dedication of staff that ensures each pupil has the skills and knowledge they need to be successful.

“Evidence of the extensive improvements made by the dedicated leadership team can be seen across the school. They, with their committed trustees and governors, are determined to give every pupil an education that meets their complex needs.

“Pupils know what is expected of their behaviour, they have excellent manners and are respectful to each other.”

Ofsted rated the school’s leadership and management and pupils’ behaviour and attitudes as ‘Outstanding’.

The quality of education, pupils’ personal development and the 6th Form provision was judged ‘Good’.

Richard Preece, CEO, said: “This is excellent news for St Mary’s and everyone associated with the school and college. The report reflects the significant root and branch improvements that have been made since 2019, when the school was judged to be Inadequate.

“St Mary’s has experienced a very challenging and uncertain period in recent years and the hard work that has been undertaken to make improvements is reflected in the findings of the new report.

“We are now building on the work done so far and we will continue to make further improvements. We are extremely grateful for the hard work of our skilled and dedicated staff team, our governors and trustees, the support of parents and carers and the partner organisations who have given support to St Mary’s.

“Above all else, we truly appreciate the contributions and achievements of our wonderful pupils and students, who make St Mary’s such a welcoming and happy school.”

Natalie Edwards, principal said: “I am delighted that the school and college now has the external recognition it deserves.

“Everyone here works tirelessly to ensure that pupils receive the very best education, therapy and care. I would like to say a huge thank you to all our staff, parents and carers and most of all, our amazing pupils.”

St Mary’s School and College is operated by a charity, called The Talking Trust.

Since the Ofsted inspection of February 2019, the school and college has been supported by East Sussex County Council and Torfield and Saxon Mount Academy Trust. St Mary’s School and College School caters for primary, secondary and post-16 pupils who have a range of additional needs, including speech, language and communication needs, autism and associated communication and learning difficulties.