A SECONDARY school near Hereford has maintained its good standards since its last Ofsted visit.

The education regulator visited St Mary’s RC High School in Lugwardine in January for a short inspection and found it was still good, as previously rated in a 2013 full inspection.

Acting headteacher Paul Shannon, who has been in post since Clive Lambert retired in December 2017, is delighted with the outcome and findings of the inspection.

He said: "It is fantastic that the staff and pupils get the recognition and acknowledgement for the wonderful work that goes on here at St Mary’s.

"I am particularly proud that the inspectors commented on the 'exceptionally high standards of our pupils’ behaviour' and that they described our school as a 'beacon of excellence'.

"I am confident that we can continue this good work in preparation for our next full inspection and demonstrate that St Mary’s truly is an outstanding place to work and learn."

The inspector said the leadership team has maintained the good quality of education in the school since the last inspection and added: "Based on the evidence available during this short inspection, I am of the opinion

that the school has demonstrated strong practice in certain areas. This may indicate that the school is improving towards being outstanding."

Since the school was last inspected in 2013, outcomes achieved by pupils have put St Mary’s consistently in the top 10 percent of similar schools nationally, with all pupils making outstanding progress.

The inspector also said how pupils’ welfare "is managed exceptionally well" and how St Mary’s is "characterised by an excitement for learning, and plenty of opportunities to learn, rather than a focus on simply passing examinations."

Chair of governors, Pat Burbidge, expressed his gratitude for the collective efforts of all involved in the St Mary’s community and said: "In addition to the staff and pupils, I would also like to thank our parents, PTA and governors for the incredible and ongoing hard work and support that they provide – there are exciting times ahead for St Mary’s and it is a privilege to be a part of this great Catholic school’.