PRAISE has been heaped on an Andover school for its high standards.

A report published by Ofsted, following a visit on February 12, highlighted that Icknield School continues to be ‘outstanding’ — four years after it was given the grade.

Inspector Linda Jacobs found that although many pupils are non-verbal their voices are “at the heart of the school’s work so that they can contribute to ongoing improvements in provision” with the school council contributing helpful ideas.

Parents praised the school and were “delighted to see their children make such good progress”, and said that their children miss being there in the holidays.

Inspectors said that though almost all of the governors are new, they are committed, and this was also apparent in the recently-appointed leadership team who “promote and sustain excellence”.

The school’s caring ethos priorities keeping pupils safe, and as a result its safeguarding procedures are fit for purpose, the inspector also found.

The report added: “Staff know each pupil in detail, and this helps them to be alert to any signs or concerns about safeguarding.”

The curriculum was found to engage pupils well, meets their needs and helps them to prepare for their future life, with inspectors observing “enthusiastic responses to lessons that challenged them to think hard”.

Headteacher Sean Cannon said: “In January 2017 I was very proud to become the headteacher of Icknield School, already judged by Ofsted as ‘outstanding’. We were due a further visit from Ofsted in February 2018, however, the time frame was moved from three to four years which gave me a bit of extra time. I was nervous about making changes; if I changed too much I could have ruined what had made us ‘outstanding’ in the first place. Equally, I could not rest on the laurels of the fantastic work completed by Sharon Salmon, the previous headteacher, in achieving this grading.

“I was quite overwhelmed with the outcome and want to thank everyone who contributed to this great result.

“We will push on now and continue to work towards delivering the very best education we can for our children and hopefully maintain the grade in 2023.”