Unity College praised by Ofsted for ‘outstanding features’

Headteacher Sally Cryer, centre, with pupils at Unity College, Burnley - celebrating with the new Ofsted report.
Headteacher Sally Cryer, centre, with pupils at Unity College, Burnley - celebrating with the new Ofsted report.

A proud Burnley headteacher believes her school is well on the way to becoming “outstanding” after a glowing report from Ofsted inspectors.

Sally Cryer was thrilled that Unity College was graded as “good with outstanding features” by the Government’s education watchdog.

Inspectors praised the school’s overall effectiveness, academic achievement, quality of teaching and leadership as “good” in the report.

The £26m. school was also praised for its work in keeping students safe and secure and helping primary pupils make the transition into Year 7 which were both judged “outstanding”.

The report continues a remarkable turnaround for the Towneley Park school which was rated “inadequate” in 2007 and “satisfactory” in 2009 and 2011 inspections.

Mrs Cryer, who has been at the helm of the school for more than a decade, believes now Unity College is on course to achieving the vision of being an “outstanding” school by 2016.

She said: “The commitment, dedication and sheer hard work of staff, students, parents and governors has culminated in a very positive report, this is a fantastic day for everyone at Unity College.

“We have come such a long way over the last five years and today is a day for huge celebration.”

The report found achievement and standards reached by students are rising, they make good progress in English and maths and the most able pupils perform as well as their peers nationally.

Inspectors said teaching is good, with staff having a good subject knowledge which benefits students and develops their interest in learning

They had high expectations of pupils, regularly marked and advised on work and were helping drive up standards.

Students were said to be proud of being part of the college, well behaved, have a good attitude to learning and are able to work well together and can be regularly found helping each other learn.

The headteacher is driving the ambition and vision for the college to become outstanding which is shared by all members of the school.

Mrs Cryer said: “At Unity College we have a clear vision and a determination that we will be ‘outstanding’ in all areas by 2016.

“We will not rest on our laurels and will take on board the advice from Ofsted as we work towards ‘outstanding’.”

Coun. Anne Kelly, who is chairman of the governors at Unity College, said: “It is down to the headteacher and the leadership of the school and their passion and ethos for Unity which they have passed on to staff and pupils.

“The staff do their very best for the pupils every day – they put in so much time and effort it is absolutely amazing.

“The results are really impressive and the behaviour of the students. The school’s mantra is ‘be the best that you can be’ and everyone is committed to that.”