A secondary school “could be judged Outstanding” if it were to receive a full Ofsted inspection, according to a report by the national education standards body.

Ofsted visited Chipping Norton School last month to carry out an ‘ungraded’ inspection.

An ungraded inspection differs from a full inspection as it cannot change the overall grade of a school unless there are very serious concerns.

Following the visit, inspectors reported: “There is enough evidence of improved performance to suggest that the school could be judged outstanding if we were to carry out a graded inspection now.”

Inspectors described the school as a “warm and welcoming” place where pupils “thrive in its safe and supportive environment” and all “achieve highly across the curriculum”.

Cotswold Journal: Chipping Norton School

They added: “‘All staff are highly ambitious for pupils and support them to benefit from a rich academic experience and a wide array of extracurricular activities.”

Chipping Norton is currently rated 'Good' by Ofsted, although its sixth form is rated Outstanding.

Headteacher Barry Doherty welcomed the new Ofsted verdict, saying it was a “fair reflection of the great work of the school and its community”.

Mr Doherty added: “We now have a wonderful opportunity to go one step further.

"Whilst securing an Outstanding judgement from Ofsted is not our mission, it is our goal to build a truly great school that is widely recognised to be so by those who know us best.

“This report will not change our plans, but it will add fuel to our ambitions.”

Greg Ledgard-Hoile, chairman of the school’s governing body, said: “This is testament to the way in which everyone has quietly and diligently gone about the business of seeking to transform a good school into a great school.”

Chipping Norton School is part of River Learning Trust (RLT), a multi-academy trust made up of 28 schools in Oxfordshire and Swindon.

Cotswold Journal: Chipping Norton School

RLT chief executive Paul James said: “The Chipping Norton School community should be very proud of the journey of improvement it is on.

“RLT will continue to support the school in delivering great opportunities for children and young people in Chipping Norton and across West Oxfordshire.”

The verdict on Chipping Norton comes after Ofsted raised the required standards for an 'Outstanding' rating.

The new standards contributed to Ofsted downgrading 308 of the 370 'Outstanding' schools it inspected during the 2021/2022 academic year – the most recent year for which records are available.