AN ANDOVER school has turned its fortunes around and been praised by the education watchdog as “a special place to learn and to work.”

Knights Enham Junior School was visited by Ofsted in December last year and was rated as ‘good’ by inspectors, two years after it was told that it ‘requires improvement.’

In all of the key areas the school was graded ‘good’, including effectiveness of leadership and management, quality of teaching, learning and assessment, and outcomes for pupils – all rated as ‘requires improvement’ in the last inspection.

Headteacher Hywel Inglis was lauded for providing “strong leadership for the school during a period of significant change.”

A report published on Monday added: “He has led key improvements since the previous inspection and remains determined to drive the school forward and achieve the best for every pupil.”

Ofsted said that not only did Mr Inglis have a hand in improving the school, but teachers and senior leaders have “high expectations” to offer high-quality provision and care.

Mr Inglis said: “It is a special place to work because of the atmosphere, it is a real family feel and everyone is in it together. The children are immensely proud of their school and talk about it in a positive light.

“It has been a real journey for us when that ‘requires improvement’ came out, it was not just ‘requires improvement’ we needed to improve on a lot of things, affecting change. Fortunately leadership and staff have bought into and wanted to do it.”

The school’s work to promote pupils’ personal development and welfare was recognised as “outstanding.”

A report published on Monday added: “Pupils are keen and confident learners. They enjoy the range of experiences and challenges that the school provides for them.”

Inspectors also noted the support Knights Enham provides to young carers and the work with Andover Young Carers.

The report said: “Young carers meet weekly over lunch in school to chat, have fun and share news. Leaders ensure that the school offers additional practical and emotional support for young carers.”

Mr Inglis said: “We found that these children don’t often get time to just be children by connecting with Andover Young Careers and working alongside them they are highlighted in a positive way. It is a good opportunity for them to be children.”

Over the last two years. pupils outcomes have been improving.

Inspectors added: “The number of pupils achieving age-related expectations in reading, writing and mathematics has been in line with national figures.”

Mr Inglis said: “That is down to having a real clear message and expectations that our children are as good as anywhere else.”

However, inspectors said that there was more work needed to improve the school further. They said that it must continue to improve the quality of teaching to ensure that “more pupils make strong progress from their starting points” and ensure that robust challenges are provided for students and that all teaching supports youngsters with SEND effectively.

Inspectors said that the school has plans in place to address remaining issues.