LEADERS have won high praise for transforming their school into a “warm, caring community” for children with additional needs.

Ofsted inspectors rated Marchbank Free School in Darlington ‘good’ in three key areas.

The school was rated inadequate at its last inspection prompting sweeping changes by the Education Village Academy Trust which operates the facility.

The Ofsted report said: “Leaders have worked hard to rebuild the trust of parents.”

After one of the first face-to-face inspections since the Covid pandemic, they rated Marchbank good for leadership and management, behaviour and attitudes, and personal development.

Head of school, Tess Wright said: “To go from inadequate to three ‘goods’ and one ‘requires improvement’ in the space of just one visit is unheard of.”

Executive head teacher of Marchbank and Beaumont Hill Academy, Caroline Green said: “We have a safe, nurturing and happy environment.” Inspectors praised the forest school, which engages youngsters through experiences of the outdoors.


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