Ofsted praise transformation at once-failing St Helens secondary

Headteacher Catherine Twist with pupils
Headteacher Catherine Twist with pupils

A St Helens school which was handed an improvement notice by Ofsted two years ago has transformed its fortunes with a glowing review by the education watchdog.

Inspectors gave St Cuthbert’s Catholic High School a “good” rating following its recent inspection.

The report said the Berrys Lane school is “truly inclusive school where every pupil is valued”.

They also highlighted students’ behaviour, student safety, a revitalised curriculum, saying it prepared students from the next stage of their lives.

And inspectors are positively glowing in their praise on the impact new headteacher Catherine Twist made since

she arrived at the school in September, last year.

Since the new headteacher’s arrival, Ofsted said the Sutton school was now home to “an ambitious and aspirational culture”.

The passion of parents was also highlighted by Ofsted who noted how they had written at length to inspectors “detailing how happy their children are and how well they are progressing”.

The inspection follows the school’s best ever GCSE results exceeding national results in English and maths.

It has also recently completed a massive investment programme, which has seen nearly £1M invested in the last six years including seven new, state-of-the-art classrooms.

Mrs Twist said: “St Cuthbert’s has never been in better shape and we are delighted at the glowing Ofsted report.

“Our success is a team effort - the staff, students, parents and wider community can be rightly proud. Whether it’s a teacher, caretaker or governor, we are all passionate about building on our success.

“We are celebrating a year of successes – our best ever GCSE results, the addition of our best ever new facilities, and now our best Ofsted report.”

Coun Andy Bowden, cabinet member for education, said: “St Cuthbert’s thoroughly deserves the highly positive feedback from Ofsted.

“The strong leadership of Mrs Twist and her team has led to many significant improvements across the board.

“Since its previous inspection, the school has worked closely with the council, and our own officers speak very highly of St Cuthbert’s inclusive ethos and the effective way in which staff work to support the needs of pupils – particularly vulnerable ones – to improve their life chances.”

The school will celebrate its 60th anniversary next year.