TENACIOUS and determined leadership at a secondary school has been rewarded with high praise from Ofsted.

Denefield School in Tilehurst was rated 'Good' by the education watchdog following a visit of the Long Lane school in January.

Inspectors said pupils from all backgrounds were encouraged to challenge themselves and ambitious guidance from senior staff ensured standards were always improving.

High praise was reserved for the leadership of Lucy Hillyard, head teacher at Denefield, for monitoring the quality of teaching and working closely with school governors.

Addressing Ms Hillyard, Anne Turner, Ofsted inspector, said: "You provide strong and determined leadership aimed at ensuring a high-quality education for all pupils, regardless of their ability or circumstances.

"Morale is high and everyone at the school shares your determination to provide the best for every pupil. There is a caring and stimulating ethos in the school, which enables pupils to make strong progress and achieve well.

"However, you and your leadership team are not complacent and you are implementing plans ambitiously to help pupils make even greater progress.

"Governors know the school very well and provide strong challenge and support to you and other leaders. Everyone shares your ambition that pupils achieve their best and develop into well-rounded citizens."

It was the first time Denefield had been inspected since the summer of 2014 and the 'rapidly improving' reputation of the sixth form programme proved to be one of the highlights of the visit.

Ofsted challenged the school to improve further by ensuring the high outcomes for girls was matched by boys in the future.

Mike Boys, the assistant head teacher who has been at the school for nearly three decades, added: "We are delighted with the outcome and we are particularly proud of the fact that Ofsted agreed with our own self evaluation that we are a good school.

"We continue to be a good school, but we are not complacent and we will be pushing forward with our improvement plan over the next three years.

"The school has changed signficantly over the years. It has become a very nice place to work, but it is also an increasingly successful environment for the staff to work in.

"We are hugely proud of what our students achieve and character values are an increasingly important part of what we do at the school."