A Whitley Bay school narrowly missed out on a top national award but staff and students are still celebrating a successful year.
Monkseaton High School was one of eight shortlisted in the Secondary School of the Year award in the Times Educational Supplement’s annual national awards.
But although they missed out on an education Oscar at the awards night held in London, and hosted by comedian Dara O’Briain, staff say they are proud of what the school has achieved.
Monkseaton High head Tracy Crowder and deputy head Tracy Willis represented the school at the event along with Kerry Davison, Kathryn Furness, leading practitioner and Gary Turnbull, pupil achievement and intervention coordinator.
Ms Crowder said: “We were incredibly proud to be there representing the school – its students, staff, governors and parents because our progress has been a joint effort involving everyone, not just a few.
“The night was a very enjoyable one and it was great for us to be able to meet so many people who have been successful in what they have done and also to discuss how they did it.
“The night celebrated best practice across all areas of education and it was an honour for Monkseaton High to be in that company – especially as it was the only secondary school in the north of England nominated.
“But it was also a great chance for us to see what others are doing to achieve best results for their students and their schools.
“There are loads of ideas and innovations out there, loads of educators trying to find all sorts of ways to help the young people in their charge and we found the event inspiring.”
Deputy headteacher Tracy Willis says the school won’t be resting on their laurels after jumping two gradings to earn Ofsted’s highest ranking of ‘Outstanding’ earlier this year.
She said: “It has been one good thing after another so far this year.
“Our headteacher Tracy Crowder has recently been awarded National Leader of Education status – an elite group of leaders who give advice and support to other schools.
“Monkseaton is now a National Support School and can be deployed to help support other schools due to our track record of rapid improvement and outstanding standards.
“On top of that, Anne Welsh, our chair of Governors, has been given National Leader of Governance status.
“Both those awards are a tribute to the hard work and dedication they have put in at Monkseaton High.
“But of course inside the education world it also reflects well on the reputation of the school too.
“Tracy and Anne have both been at pains to point out that the success we have achieved at Monkseaton High has been a joint effort of staff, students, governors and parents and that is entirely true.
“So it is not just a case of having reached a certain standard and then sitting back.
“We are determined to keep implementing best practice and having reached Outstanding status as a school we want to maintain it for years and years come.”
“If we do that, we can be sure that we are serving our students as best as we possibly can and they are rising to their challenges too.”