BACK in 2013, there were concerns expressed about the level of education delivered at Prudhoe Community High School after a visit from Ofsted.

Inspectors claimed the Tynedale school was inadequate, and it was put into special measures.

Two monitoring visits were held before the school was placed in the ‘requires improvement’ category 12 months later, with the school continuing to work closely with Ofsted officers.

A further monitoring visit was held in February 2015, where the inspectors declared effective action had been taken to improve the school.

The news all involved with Prudhoe had been working towards was delivered in September 2016, which coincided with the opening of a new building, as the school was judged ‘good’.

Prudhoe is the perfect example of how a school had worked hard to meet stringent guidelines and is currently in the 58 per cent of secondary schools in the North-East judged to be either ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’, although that figure is below the national average.

While there is concern about the picture for secondary schools in the region, education in Tynedale and Ponteland is doing well according to Ofsted’s annual report for 2017-2018.

Prudhoe, Ponteland High and Hexham’s Queen Elizabeth High currently all sit in the comfort zone of ‘good’.

The well-documented troubles at Haydon Bridge High continue as the school remains ‘inadequate’. While classed as ‘good’ in 2010, the school has fallen into problems and was deemed inadequate both in 2010 and in March of this year.

A monitoring report from this October identified a number of ongoing problems at the school, including middle leadership and teaching in some subjects.

Cathy Kirby, director of Ofsted North East, said: “The story is not so positive for our children in secondary schools, as inspection outcomes declined by four percentage points on last year.

“This means that with only 58 per cent of secondary schools rated good or outstanding, the region is 17 percentage points below the national average.”

The picture is a lot rosier for the region’s primary schools as a high total of 90 per cent were judged to be good or outstanding, which was the same figure as the previous year.

Northumberland has the second lowest percentage of schools achieving this grade at 85 per cent. However, the county has shown the largest improvement over the space of the year, and is up by six percentage points.

In addition, 96 per cent of childminders hit the required criteria to place them two per cent higher than the national average, while a staggering 99 per cent of nurseries and pre-schools were in the top categories. The national figure stood at 95 per cent.

Cathy Kirby said: “I am pleased that young children in the North-East continue to thrive. With a higher proportion of childminders and nurseries are rated good or outstanding than the national average, our youngest children are getting the best start in life.

“Our primary schools are also continuing to provide children with a good standard of education. Ninety per cent of primary schools in the region are good or outstanding, which is well above the national average.

“There is much to be pleased with in the region. But we need to build on the quality of provision provided to our youngest to ensure an excellent education for all our children.”