Headteacher ‘an inspirational leader’

Headteacher Janet Seddon, left, with pupils at Beech Hill Community Primary School
Headteacher Janet Seddon, left, with pupils at Beech Hill Community Primary School

A headteacher in her final term at the helm of a Wigan school has been described as “inspirational” by an education watchdog.

Ofsted inspectors highlighted Janet Seddon’s “devotion” to Beech Hill Community Primary School following their visit.

They found “all aspects of the school” had improved and it retained the “good” rating it had been given in 2012.

In a letter to Mrs Seddon, inspector Andrew Morley wrote: “You are an inspirational leader who effectively serves the school and community of Beech Hill.

“Your devotion to all in the school is returned by the complete trust and confidence of your staff, pupils and the parental community.

“The school community you have created is one in which all staff and pupils feel valued, respected and understand what is expected of them.”

Mrs Seddon will retire this summer after 10 years at Beech Hill and a 38-year career in teaching.

She said: “I’m coming to the end of my career and it’s nice to know that people still see me in that light and that I’m still doing that job as well as I can.

“It’s not an easy job but I didn’t come into it for an easy life.

“I love the job and wouldn’t do anything else so it’s nice to get that praise.”

She said her “really good team of staff” also deserved praise for the school’s success.

The Ofsted report states Mrs Seddon had worked hard to upskill school leaders ahead of her retirement.

Mrs Seddon and her team had “a good understanding” of the school’s strengths and weaknesses and improvements had been made “year after year”, Mr Morley wrote.

He found pupils had “excellent attitudes” and there were “strong relationships between staff and pupils”.

Keeping pupils safe was described as the “highest priority” and there was a “high level of care and assistance” for children who may be vulnerable.

The inspector found the school community was “very inclusive” and pupils liked the “exciting learning opportunities”.

Girls made “good progress” in the early years and key stage one, but the most able did not always achieve the standard they were capable of by the end of year six.

However, Ofsted found there were “sensible plans” to address this.

Mr Morley said he was “impressed” with the school building, which opened in 2011.

He wrote: “I should say how impressed I was with the quality of the school building. It provides a wonderful space for the pupils to learn in and is appreciated by all of the school community.”

Mrs Seddon welcomed the report, saying: “I think it describes our school really well. We were waiting nearly five years in between and it’s great that it’s even better than the one we had before.

“I’m really proud of the school and the staff.”

She believes the school is not far from being rated as “outstanding” and said the areas recommended for improvement were already being worked on.