STAFF and students at Varndean School are celebrating after keeping their good rating following an inspection by Ofsted.

The glowing report was revealed this week after being government inspectors visited the school in Balfour Road, Brighton in July.

Headteacher William Deighan said the success was down to the hard work of staff.

Mr Deighan said: “The report recognises that we are not complacent and those that know us well will recognise our continuous improvement.

“Leading a secondary school is like, I imagine, the cycle up Ditchling Beacon at the end of the London to Brighton; invigorating, never ending, sometimes getting off to push and always, joyous.

“I am deeply appreciative of the hard work and commitment of our staff, governors, students and their families that make Varndean School such a special place.”

The inspectors said the school made a number of improvements “moving the school into a higher gear”.

Among the improved aspects was achievement. The report read: “Since the last inspection, you have strengthened the quality of teaching in the school.

“This has resulted in the improved progress of pupils in all years and in better GCSE examination results.”

The percentage of pupils attaining good GCSE grades in English and maths in 2016 rose to just above average.

Inspectors also praised the curriculum, improved behaviour, and attendance which has become the best in the local authority.

Glowing feedback from parents also highlighted the breadth of extra-curricular activities and trips, particularly the Duke of Edinburgh Award - which has the largest number of pupils completing the awards in the South East.

Mr Deighan added: “We were thrilled with some of our parents’ comments, “brilliant music, fantastic drama, amazing library staff, energetic sport and thought-provoking philosophy.”

The school for pupils 11 to 16 was last inspected in July 2013 when it was rated good.

The school’s increasing popularity means the school is now oversubscribed, with an increasing number of parents entering their children into the school. Now there some 1,300 pupils at the school.

According to the report over 90% of parents would recommend the school to others.

Ofsted inspector Claire Gillies recommended the school bosses continue to support middle leaders in the science and humanities, to bring up pupils’ achievement in those subjects. The department’s 2016 GCSE examination results were not as good as those in English and maths put down to leadership and staffing issues, which are now being addressed.

The school has also been told to focus on middle-attaining and disadvantaged-middle attaining pupils to improve their progress.

The report comes after Varndean saw a 10 percent increase in is year’s GCSE results.

Three-quarters (75 percent) of students achieved the Grade 4 benchmark or higher in maths, and 73 percent achieving Grade 4 benchmark or higher in English.