SIMPLY outstanding — Canon Slade School has become just the second high school in Bolton to be given the top rating by education watchdogs.

School inspectors have given the Bradshaw school the highest marks possible.

It was found to be outstanding in every area — achievement of pupils, quality of teaching, behaviour and safety of pupils and leadership and management — and becomes only the second high school to be awarded the coveted grade one status.

St James CE in Farnworth became the first in December 2011.

Inspectors reported: “The school’s firmly held values and caring ethos underpin all aspects of its work and are proudly endorsed by the students, staff, leaders and governors who make up the Canon Slade family.

“All students make outstanding progress as a result of excellent teaching.”

And inspectors found the majority of students secure places at their first choice university.

One student told an inspector “Lessons are exciting and make us think”, which Ofsted said reflected the enthusiasm of young people at the school.

Inspectors found that pupils who receive additional Government funding “achieve significantly better than their peers nationally”.

The report added: “Students who are disabled or with special educational needs make outstanding progress as a result of high-quality teaching and very effective and well co-ordinated support.”

Headteacher Canon Philip Williamson was singled out for praise and was described as combining “steely determination with compassion in a way that inspires the school community”.

Canon Williamson said: "This is a wonderful achievement for our school and is testament to the outstanding behaviour, diligence and engagement of our students and to the expertise and commitment of staff who work unremittingly to teach and support our young people.

“The standards of the school are also a reflection of the support and encouragement given by parents and carers and to the work of our governing body and trustees.”