A HEADTEACHER has praised the "hard work and dedication" of everyone connected with a school after it was ranked outstanding by Ofsted.

The Cotswold School, in Bourton on the Water, has been given top marks by the schools watchdog for the fourth time in a row.

It was graded outstanding overall, and in the five sub-categories assessed - leadership and management, behaviour and safety of pupils, quality of teaching, achievement of pupils and sixth form provision.

Principal Will Morgan said: "I am immensely proud. We all are.

"These accolades and the Ofsted inspection ranking, while giving us a chance to celebrate, also inspire us and spur us on.

"We will push on - aspiring to even greater achievements from all our wonderful young people, preparing them to meet and embrace all the exciting opportunities that lie ahead."

Mr Morgan added: "While the school’s last three consecutive Ofsted inspections were all outstanding, this is our first as an academy and it has been carried out under Ofsted’s new and even more rigorous inspection criteria.

"To receive outstanding across all categories is a truly fantastic achievement."

Inspectors acclaimed the school's performance across all areas in the report.

They praised students' behaviour as "exemplary", while teaching was described as "outstanding".

"Teachers have high expectations of all students, regardless of their ability.

"They plan lessons that engage and challenge students, and use questioning to deepen understanding, so that students achieve at the highest level."

The achievement of all pupils was also commended as "outstanding".

"At GCSE, the proportion of students gaining five A* to C grades, including English and mathematics, is well above the national average.

"The proportion of students gaining the higher grades of A* and A, across a number of subjects, is well above average."

According to the inspectors, disadvantaged students also rapid progress because of the "very effective additional support they receive", while disabled students and those who have special educational needs make excellent progress "because of the individual and well-planned help they are given".

When asked what the key is to achieving an ‘outstanding’ ranking, Mr Morgan said: "Hard work, and dedication from an enormous team – one that is made up of talented staff, enthused, happy students, supportive parents and a superb board of governors.

"Together we have a single focus – that each individual student achieves.

"The Ofsted inspection was particularly robust and inspectors spent long hours drilling down into student data, scrutinising teachers’ marking and lesson plans, examining our extra-curricular provision and extension programmes, assessing how individuals progress at The Cotswold School.

"As a school we were so grateful to the parents who also felt moved to write to the inspectors independently and to all those who took part in Ofsted’s parent view survey.

"The Chief Inspector commented to me that she had seldom seen such praise from parents and carers.

"This sort of evidence cannot be staged for a two-day inspection – it is a reflection of the sustained hard work and commitment of a fantastic team over many, many years."