A County Durham primary school has been rated “outstanding” by Ofsted inspectors – maintaining the rating it received at its last inspection over 12 years ago.

Kirk Merrington Primary School, Spennymoor, was graded “outstanding” in all areas following a two-day inspection in March this year.

In their report, Ofsted inspectors describe the school as “a beacon of excellence” with “extremely high ambition for all of its pupils”.

Pupils make “exceptional progress” and “excel academically while exhibiting kindness, courage, perseverance and great teamwork,” their report adds.

There’s praise for the school’s provision for pupils with special educational needs and disabilities who, the reports say, are “supported superbly” by “well-trained” staff.

The report also notes that the school is “extremely well led and managed by leaders and governors” and “manages the workload and well-being of staff well”.

Head teacher, Nicola Murray, said: “The last inspection was back in December 2011 and because the school was graded ‘outstanding’ then, it has been exempt from a further inspection for some time.

“To have been rated ‘outstanding’ again is a huge achievement and there can’t be many schools in the country that have maintained an ‘outstanding’ rating for so long. I could not be more proud of our pupils and staff.

“Our students are fantastic – they are praised throughout the report and they deserve all the praise they get because they are the ones who make the school such a wonderful place to learn and work.

“The report also recognises the quality of our staff and I’d also like to say a huge thanks to every one of them. Time and time again, they go above and beyond the call of duty to create an environment where pupils want to do well and feel cared for.

“I am privileged to work with such a wonderful team of professionals. We always aim to give every student the best possible education and we will continue to do so.”

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The school’s chair of governors, Pippa Procter, added: “I’d like to congratulate everyone at the school on this amazing report. To be rated ‘outstanding’ in all areas is down to the hard work and dedication the staff and students show every single day.

“I know how committed the staff are to providing the best education and experience for pupils at the school. I also know how wonderful the students are – as the report says, ‘they look after each other’.

“I’m delighted for everyone that their work has been recognised in this way and I am extremely proud of everyone involved in the school because they make it what it is.”