MIDDLEWICH High School has maintained its ‘good’ Ofsted rating after addressing concerns that standards had declined at the institution.

Following an inspection in November the education watchdog rated the school, on King Edward Street, as ‘good’ overall, but said that until recently pupils have not had a good enough deal.

In their report, inspectors Stephen Ruddy and Craig Yates stated: “Examination results have fallen year-on-year. Some teachers do not have high enough expectations of pupils.”

They also criticised school governors for overseeing a poor-quality curriculum stating: “Governors have not held leaders sufficiently to account for pupils.”

However, they praised new headteacher Heidi Thurland, who was appointed in April, saying she had acted quickly to halt the school’s decline and made much-needed improvements, adding ‘pupils value the changes she is making’.

They said: “The recently appointed headteacher has an honest and accurate evaluation of the school. She is making the necessary changes to improve the school.”

Ms Thurland said: “We are delighted that the school has retained its good judgement under a new rigorous Ofsted framework.

“The inspection team has validated our work and the leadership of the school. Our focus is on strengthening the curriculum for all and we have a clear plan to deliver this.

“We are undertaking an external review of governance to strengthen school improvement.

“It has been my clear aim since appointment to ensure that the community of Middlewich has a school that is a beacon of academic excellence while maintaining its caring, inclusive ethos.

“The inspection report identifies leadership, safeguarding and behaviour as good.

“Our staff feel valued and work hard, and our students are proud of their school. It is our determination to be in the top 20 per cent of schools and to be the school of choice for our community. The Ofsted report clearly shows that the school has the momentum, vision and leadership to achieve this clear aim.”