PROSPECTS for improvement at a Newport junior school are "excellent" thanks to its senior leadership team, according to the schools inspectorate Estyn who found the school's current performance is "good".

The 203-pupil Malpas Church in Wales Junior School has one of the lowest school budgets in the city at 45th out of 48 primary schools, but regularly shares its highly effective practice with other schools and organisations, the inspectorate found.

All pupils make at least good or, often, very good progress in their learning and skill development across the curriculum, said the report, but the school ought to improve attendance.

Crucially, there is "no significant difference" between those pupils entitled to free school meals and those who are not.

Headteacher Katharine Thomas said: “We are delighted with the reports which make very agreeable reading. To receive such a resounding endorsement is tremendous.”

The report said: "The calm and purposeful learning environment contributes effectively to pupils’ learning; teaching is consistently good; the warm and welcoming ethos contributes significantly to pupils’ wellbeing; and the behaviour of all pupils is very good."

Inspectors found the school’s prospects for improvement are excellent - their highest category out of unsatisfactory, adequate, good, and excellent - because the headteacher, senior leadership team and governing body have "a clear vision" for the school that they communicate "very effectively" to all stakeholders.

Leaders know the school’s strengths and areas for development extremely well, said the report, and they promote a strong ethos of high expectation and continuous improvement.

Senior leaders have a firm commitment to ensuring that all staff are involved in and make a commitment to school improvement; self-evaluation is based firmly on reliable first-hand evidence; and over the past year, senior leaders have brought about many improvements that have had a clear impact on pupils’ standards and wellbeing in several key areas.

"The school regularly shares its highly effective practice with other schools and organisations," said the report.

Inspectors tasked the school with improving pupils’ use of the Welsh language outside of Welsh lessons; improve attendance; and work with the relevant authorities to improve the school’s accommodation.

Chair of governors Reverend David Parfitt said: “We are very proud of the high standards and pastoral care found in this church school."