Burnley’s Blessed Trinity RC College out of special measures

A BRIGHT future has been predicted for a Burnley secondary school, praised by inspectors two years after a damning report.

Blessed Trinity RC College has been brought out of special measures by Ofsted inspectors who said the school had made “significant improvement”.

Headteacher Mr Richard Varey, who came to the helm last year, said the report was testament to the hard work put in by everyone connected to the school.

Schools are judged on four areas in an Ofsted report – quality of teaching, achievement of pupils, behaviour and safety of pupils, and leadership and management.

Two years ago each was judged to be inadequate at Blessed Trinity, but all have now been judged to be “good” with the exception of pupil achievement, which Mr Varey is confident will improve.

Inspectors noted that the quality of teaching had improved significantly.

They added: “Pupils’ behaviour is now good and they feel very safe in school.

“They show respect to each other and to teachers and other adults. Pupils are keen to learn and want to do well. They say that bullying and other hurtful behaviour is very rare.”

The headteacher, senior leaders and the governing body were praised in bringing about the improvement.

Mr Varey said: “We are delighted by these findings. It is down to the hard work of staff, parents and pupils.

“It is all about raising expectations and starting with the small things. We sat down together and asked the staff and pupils what they wanted the school to be.

“Everyone agreed they wanted it to be outstanding. Pupil behaviour was highlighted as needing to be improved by the inspectors.

“We banned mobile phones and make-up, and told pupils to smarten up their uniform. I wanted the classrooms to be a calmer place, both for teachers and pupils, and I think this is evident now. There is a very positive atmosphere in the school.

“We are expecting our best set of results next year and our target is to be in the top 25% of schools nationally in the next two years.”

Blessed Trinity is the merger of the former St Theodore’s Boys’ and St Hilda’s Girls’ Schools, traditionally the best performing schools in Burnley.

The school suffered a number of years of upheaval following the merger during the Building Schools for the Future programme, and at one stage was operating on three different sites.

But Mr Varey said the new school building in Ormerod Road was an asset to the school community which was now on “a really exciting journey.”

He added: “We want to fulfil the potential of each individual, and we have some superb young people here.

The schools has some exceptional facilities, particularly in the performing arts and sports, to help them achieve the very best they can.”