South Shields school kicks off new school year with ‘outstanding’ Ofsted report

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A South Shields school for children with special educational needs (SEN) is celebrating an ‘outstanding’ Ofsted report.

Epinay School, on Nevinson Avenue in South Shields, has kicked off the new school year with good news as the school achieved an ‘outstanding’ grade following a two-day Ofsted inspection in June.

The inspection came at the end of the school’s first full year at its new site, with all the pupils together under one roof.

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Inspectors were so impressed with the school, that no action points were made on the Ofsted report.

Chris Rue, headteacher at Epinay School, has praised his team of staff and the school community for their support in achieving the result.

Epinay School headteacher Chris Rue (middle) with staff and pupils as they celebrate an ‘outstanding’ Ofsted inspection. Photo: Other 3rd Party.Epinay School headteacher Chris Rue (middle) with staff and pupils as they celebrate an ‘outstanding’ Ofsted inspection. Photo: Other 3rd Party.
Epinay School headteacher Chris Rue (middle) with staff and pupils as they celebrate an ‘outstanding’ Ofsted inspection. Photo: Other 3rd Party. | Other 3rd Party

He said: “It is just a brilliant result for us and it is made even more special by the fact that it came at the end of our first year at our new school site.

“It had been a tough year as we had to make sure that the school buildings were fit for purpose while still delivering a top quality education to the pupils but it was all worth it in the end.

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“This is the third ‘outstanding’ in a row for the school and my second while at Epinay.

“I’m just delighted for everyone, I can’t thank the staff, our governing body, the parents and local community enough for all their support.

“We have received plenty of recognition in the past year but this was definitely the cherry on the cake and I can’t wait to see what our second year at the site holds.”

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Even though the Ofsted result was not released until this academic year, the school held its own celebration in July to mark the end of the first year at the new site.

A summer street market was held to showcase the work of pupils, with parents and the local community invited to come and buy items that had been made on site.

Chris said the result was the “cherry on the cake” after a successful first year at the school’s new site. Photo: Other 3rd Party.Chris said the result was the “cherry on the cake” after a successful first year at the school’s new site. Photo: Other 3rd Party.
Chris said the result was the “cherry on the cake” after a successful first year at the school’s new site. Photo: Other 3rd Party. | Other 3rd Party

Epinay School moved from its original site in Jarrow into the former South Shields school in September 2022, following a £1.9million investment from South Tyneside Council to make the building suitable for its new pupils and staff.

The adapted building was kitted out with a rebound therapy room, play therapy room and sensory light areas for children and young people with special educational needs.

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