LEADERS at a special academy where pupils thrive are 'extremely proud' after a decade of being rated 'outstanding'.

The Russett School, in Weaverham, was first given Ofsted's top rating in 2014 before becoming an academy a year later.

The watchdog revisited the Middlehurst Avenue school, which offers specialist education for pupils aged two to 19 with severe learning learning difficulties and autism, in December.

And following the inspection, the school has retained its 'outstanding' rating, with inspectors praising its 'ambitious' curriculum and approach to managing behaviour.

Executive head teacher Emma Leach was delighted with the outcome of the inspection.

She said: "We are extremely proud of our Russett family; our wonderful pupils, our hardworking staff and supportive parents and carers."

In their report, the Ofsted inspectors said: "Pupils thrive at The Russett School. Prior to joining the school many pupils have faced significant challenges in accessing education.

"The school is transformational for them - they feel safe, accepted and proud to be a part of the school community.

"Pupils receive the highly personalised care and support that they need to succeed in their education.

"The school sets extremely high expectations for pupils’ learning and development. It is unwavering in its commitment to ensure that each pupil can access a curriculum that is matched precisely to their individual needs.

"Pupils achieve exceptionally well and their behaviour is exemplary. They understand they are part of a community where everyone respects each other.

"The school ensures that all staff share strong values and consistent approaches to managing pupils’ behaviour.

"It has created a curriculum that is highly ambitious for every pupil, regardless of their age or stage of education. It uses a range of assessment information to identify pupils’ special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND), as well as their individual stages of development.

"From the early years through to the sixth form, pupils are placed on particular pathways of learning. This allows them to access the curriculum at a stage that is appropriate for their learning and development.

"This is supplemented extremely well by a range of expert therapeutic support that helps to remove barriers to their’ learning."