'We held hands and jumped for joy' teachers at Northampton special school tell of delight at Ofsted report

Sheralee Webb with sixth form students from The Beehive
Sheralee Webb with sixth form students from The Beehive

A school for Northampton teenagers with special needs has won the praise of inspectors in its latest report.

Pupils at Northgate Arts College along with sister building The Bee Hive were visited at their Kingsthorpe campus on November 14 by an Ofsted team.

And by the end of a busy visit hardworking staff were literally jumping up and down with excitement at the best-possible 'outstanding' grade.

Headteacher Sheralee Webb said: "After we got the feedback, my deputy and I held hands in the corridor and jumped up and down.

"It's supposed to be kept under wraps, but if anyone had seen us I'm afraid they would have guessed quite quickly what the result was."

Northgate is a purpose built special school for students aged 11–16 with specialist facilities for art, science, food technology, resistant materials technology and physical education. All of the students have a statement of special educational needs.

The Queens Park Parade school was already outstanding across the board from its previous inspection in 2013 - the Bee Hive sixth form building had not been built then - but Sheralee said maintaining the highest standard was as much an achievement as attaining it in the first place.

She said: "With higher expectations and reducing budgets, it is very difficult to get outstanding. It's very satisfying."

The headteacher was keen to recognise what the impressive report means for Northgate's parents.

She said: "They now know they have made the right decision.

"It's so difficult if you are the mum or dad of a special needs child to choose between all the option, worrying whether you should have put them in a mainstream school.

"Just having that reassurance they've done the right thing is marvellous for them."