The headteacher of a Barrow school has said he is ‘extremely proud’ of the progress it has made after the site received praise in an inspection.

The review was carried out because Chetwynde School had received two successive judgements of ‘requires improvement’ from Ofsted.

This time the school in Rating Lane won plaudits for its efforts to give its students access to remote learning, for prioritising vulnerable pupils’ welfare, and for helping students catch up on learning they had missed or forgotten.

Steve Jefferson, headteacher, said he was pleased the school’s hard work throughout the coronavirus pandemic had been recognised.

“As ever, the pupils demonstrated the key values of the school and resilience during the pandemic,” he said.

“We will now look to continue to develop our curriculum and look forward to continued success as we move into the newly formed South Cumbria Multi Academy Trust.”

Sue Hannan, chair of trustees, paid tribute to the ‘rapid progress’ the school had made over the previous 18 months ‘under the new leadership of the head and senior team’.

“It is pleasing to see that the hard work of staff, ensuring pupils were provided with excellent teaching and learning during lockdown, has been highlighted in the inspection,” she said.

In her report, Ofsted inspector Linda Emmett, who carried out the monitoring visit remotely, commended the school for accessing a ‘wide range of support from external partners’.

“A national leader of governance has delivered training for trustees,” she said.

“As a result, trustees are increasingly effective in holding you and other leaders to account.

“An external adviser from a local school is providing appropriate challenge and support around leaders’ work to develop the curriculum.

“The local authority has supported leaders to promote the needs of vulnerable pupils effectively.”

Ms Emmett said teaching pupils to become ‘confident and fluent readers’ was a ‘priority’ at Chetwynde.

“Children in the early years and pupils in key stage 1 access daily phonics lessons, whether they are at home or in school,” she said.

“Pupils read books that closely match the sounds that they have learned.”

However, she did say some staff had not received ‘suitable phonics training’ which ‘hinders them’ from providing pupils with the support they require to become confident readers.