Head teachers and chairs of governors from some of Nottinghamshire’s outstanding schools, including Pinewood Infant School in Arnold and West Bridgford’s Rushcliffe School, gathered earlier last week (7 Nov) at County Hall to celebrate their achievement.
Countywide there are 55 primary, secondary and special schools judged by Ofsted as ‘outstanding’ – the inspection body’s top category.
Paying tribute to guests at the reception for their collective commitment to educational excellence, the County Council’s children and young people’s committee chairman, Councillor Philip Owen, said: “It is reassuring that our outstanding schools are drawn from all over the county.
“As educators, you are ensuring that Nottinghamshire’s children secure the essential skills needed to allow all children and young people to achieve their potential.
“Your expectations are high and as a result you have been judged by Ofsted to be outstanding. I want to formally acknowledge the difference you are making in the lives of your children and young people – and in some cases, the lives of families and carers.”
Out of all 337 schools in the county, currently 15% of Nottinghamshire’s primary schools are ranked outstanding with 19% of secondary schools and nearly 60% of special schools scoring the top grade.
Rachel Otter, headteacher at Pinewood Infant School and Foundation Unit in Arnold said: “What makes Pinewood the outstanding school that it is is the unquestionable commitment of a fantastic team of individuals who continually go the extra mile for our children and families.
“Everyone who works here buys into the Pinewood way and has a drive to ensure all our children achieve the very best they can. We will never stop striving to achieve the next challenge ahead.”
Coun Owen added: “We recognise the vital importance that education plays in the life changes of our children and young people, particularly those who face disadvantage. In our vision for Nottinghamshire over the coming years, we have recognised the role that great schools play in securing good educational outcomes for our children and young people.
“Education is key and as outstanding schools, I am increasingly aware of the work you are focusing on developing aspiration in all of our children and young people regardless of their social and ethnic backgrounds.
“What we are increasingly learning, however, is that fostering and nurturing aspiration is not, in itself, sufficient. Not only do our most disadvantaged young people need to be ambitious and aspirational, more importantly, they need to know how to realise these hopes and dreams for their futures.
“From a society and economic perspective, we need our young people to have secured skills and internalised the ambition to contribute positively to their society.
“I have thanked you for your curriculum and your engagement with underpinning work ready skills, but I also want to encourage you to continue to explore ways that will allow our children and young people to develop the emotional resilience that is so essential to what makes for a successful and well-rounded individual.”
Coun Owen also thanked school leaders for the role that many play in sharing excellent practice with other schools and partners both in Nottinghamshire and beyond.