'Outstanding' qualities continue success story of St Albans secondary school

Nicholas Breakspear School headteacher Declan Linnane has welcomed their latest Ofsted report.

Nicholas Breakspear School headteacher Declan Linnane has welcomed their latest Ofsted report. - Credit: NBS

A St Albans school continues to go from strength to strength after receiving another glowing Ofsted report.

For Nicholas Breakspear Catholic School, it is the latest step in a nine-year turnaround from when it was considered 'Inadequate' in 2013, 'Required improvement' in 2014, and declared Good in 2016.

Under the new Ofsted framework, the purpose of the inspection was not to give a graded judgement but to see whether NBS remained ‘Good’ or if there was the capacity to have a return visit to ascertain if it could be an ‘Outstanding’ school.

The opening statement stated: “Nicholas Breakspear Catholic School continues to be a good school.  There is enough evidence of improved performance to suggest that the school could be judged outstanding if we were to carry out a section 5 inspection now.”

The report goes on to highlight that pupils share the same passion for their school as the leaders, staff, and parents and carers. They talk with pride about the NBS values to ‘nurture, believe, succeed’ and consistently demonstrate these values in the way they act and learn.

Pupils were said to behave exceptionally well in lessons and around the school, are very committed to their learning. They engage in class debate with fervour but consideration for their peers.

Finally, pupils show high levels of respect for each other, celebrate differences and learn to understand those from other backgrounds. There is very little bullying, and when pupils do have concerns, leaders make it easy to report these.

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The curriculum at NBS was said to be aspirational, and from the start of key stage 3, pupils study a wide and challenging range of topics to prepare them for future learning and work.

Headteacher Declan Linnane said the comments were pleasing to note as Ofsted has recently raised the bar and many schools across the country have not been able to maintain their outstanding rating. 

“We are very proud of the outcome of our recent inspection as it highlights our continued hard work and how the strong relationships we have with our pupils, parents, governors, primary schools and parishes have paid off. It is this collaborative effort with each other which forms an outstanding community.  NBS is an aspirational school and we welcome our inspectors return in the next year or so.”


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