STUDENTS and staff at Hanley Castle High School are celebrating a highly successful Ofsted inspection.

A visit by Ofsted inspectors in February was cut short by snow, which closed the school on the second of two days scheduled for the inspection.

However on the day they were able to see staff and students at work they observed 35 lessons and were impressed enough to award the school an overall “good” rating - the second highest rating available on the four-level inspection scale.

In her report inspector Rashida Sharif praises Hanley Castle as a “vibrant and dynamic” school that has not stood still since its last inspection, held in March 2006.

“The active involvement of the staff, governors and students in all aspects of the life and work of the school is impressive,” she said. “Staff share a sense of purpose and are highly committed to the school’s values and continued improvement.”

She described students’ personal development as “exceptionally strong”, adding: “They display maturity and take responsibility for the very good behaviour in and around the school. They are always very polite and eager to help, and speak proudly of their school and how staff help them do well.”

Care, guidance and support at the school is rated as ‘outstanding’ and there is particular praise for headteacher Rob Haring’s “outstanding leadership” and “clear vision for the school.”

However Mr Haring insists the school’s success is due to the dedication and teamwork of all staff and students.

“Ofsted has recognised Hanley Castle as a vibrant and dynamic school where students’ personal development is extremely strong and where student progress is good and sometimes outstanding,” he said. “We are delighted that the qualities of our young people have been recognised and that we as a school value every individual.”

“We are particularly pleased that Ofsted has recognised our work with all young people to secure their personal development and well-being. It is important to us that students leave Hanley understanding healthy life choices, consideration for others and have high self-esteem.”

On Ofsted’s advice the school will now be looking to improve the breadth of provision in its sixth form, and this is likely to include more vocational opportunities.