A SOUTHAMPTON school for children with high-level learning difficulties has been rated 'outstanding' for the third successive inspection.

Ofsted chiefs once again awarded Springwell Primary School the top grade, following 'outstanding' ratings in 2010 and 2013.

It is the first time a Southampton school has ever achieved three successive 'outstanding' reports.

Jackie Partridge, head teacher at Springwell School said: “For our school to receive its third consecutive ‘outstanding’ Ofsted inspection report is an amazing accolade that reflects the hard work and dedication of all of the staff here at Springwell.

"I’d like to take the opportunity to thank everyone who’s been responsible for the success.

"Our first outstanding report came in 2010, and we’ve continued to go from strength to strength."

An Ofsted inspector visited the school in July this year – just a month before multi-million plans to expand the school were lodged by Southampton City Council.

In the report, published this month, the inspector found an "outstanding quality of education" at the school, which caters for children aged four to 11 with complex learning difficulties.

The school's leadership team were praised for their "dynamic drive", which inspectors said had created a "culture of continuing excellence".

"All staff are passionate about providing the best for pupils. Staff development is a high priority and ‘second-best’ is never good enough," the inspector added.

School leaders were also highly praised for implementing an effective safeguarding scheme which Ofsted chiefs found to be, "fit for purpose".

Commenting on the report, cabinet member for education and skills at Southampton City Council, councillor Darren Paffey, said: “For Ofsted to repeatedly recognise Springwell as outstanding, over the last seven years, is testimony to the commitment of all of the staff at the school.

“The difference that Springwell school makes to the lives of not only its students, but to the parents of those students, is immeasurable.

"The encouragement and support that is provided to pupils leads to a growth in their confidence and an increased level of academic achievement.

“This sustained high level of provision for children with complex learning difficulties deserves recognition – I congratulate Jackie and all of her staff.”

The report coincides with the completion of phase one of the new building programme at Springwell School.

Costing £1.5million, the development included a new single-storey building with six classrooms, which increased the pupil capacity from 64 to 112 and staff from 125 to 161.

Plans for a £9.6million second development were lodged in August, after civic chiefs approved the funding for the scheme last year.

The plans include the construction of a single-storey and a two-storey extension to the primary school.

As a result, the school will have the space to create up to 24 classrooms by 2021.

Proposals include the creation of hall and kitchen, as well as a multi-use games area (MUGA) and a new car park for the school.

Jo Cassey, service lead for education at Southampton City Council, said: "This new state-of-the-art build is part of a £10m investment programme, providing ongoing improvement for Southampton’s educational offering for children with complex needs.

“The dedication of the staff at the primary school is what makes this school standout, improving the infrastructure helps to continue to push things on to the next level.”