A “diverse and inclusive” school which pupils are “exceptionally proud” to attend has been rated ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted.

Cantell School, on Violet Road in Bassett, was given the new rating after an inspection on March 26 and 27.

During this, inspectors found pupils “thrive” in the “diverse and inclusive school”.

This was the first time the secondary school was given the top rating by the schools' watchdog, being judged outstanding in all areas of the report.

In an inspection last year, it was mentioned that should it have carried out a graded inspection, the school would have been outstanding.

Daily Echo: Harry Kutty with students at Cantell SchoolHarry Kutty with students at Cantell School (Image: Cantell School)

But returning this year, inspectors, led by Catherine Old, said: “Pupils value the school’s positive ethos, as exemplified by the ‘Cantell Cs’ of challenge, cooperation, courtesy, commitment and creativity.

“Pupils develop strong positive friendships with each other. They understand that everyone is different and all have a part to play in society.

“Pupils seize every opportunity to participate in the vast range of clubs, trips and visits on offer in the school and the wider community.”

Pupils’ behaviour was described as exemplary, as they show “high levels of respect for all staff”.

The report said: “This is because pupils know that staff want them to be happy and safe. Should any pupil need extra support to manage their behaviour, leaders make sure they get it.

“The curriculum is ambitious, demonstrating the school’s very high expectations of all pupils’ learning.

“Consequently, pupils, including those who speak English as an additional language and those with special educational needs and/or disabilities, achieve strong outcomes.”

The culture set by leaders was also praised.

The report said: “Leaders have created a highly positive culture which is reinforced consistently well by all. The staff know that leaders care about their well-being and workload.

“Everyone works hard to remove any potential barriers to pupils’ achievement. As a result, pupils’ attitudes to their education and to each other are impressive.”

'Sincere gratitude to staff and students'

In a letter to parents on May 2, the headteacher Harry Kutty said: “The inspection process was robust, challenging, but fair. The inspection team quickly grasped an understanding of our school - how we work and what we do for the young people in our care.

“Over the course of the two days, the inspectors witnessed the entire school in action, leaving no stone unturned in gathering evidence on the quality of education, behaviour and attitudes, personal development, and leadership and management.

“I want to express my sincere gratitude to our dedicated staff and wonderful students for their exceptional contributions that have led to this achievement.

“It was an absolute honour and privilege to inform them of the new grading this morning, and I thanked them for their commitment to creating our wonderful school; a place where young people enjoy their learning and where staff love to work.”

He added that although there were no areas for improvement in the report, staff will remain “relentless in our pursuit of excellence”.