A science, technology, engineering, and maths (STEM) specialist school and sixth form in Oxfordshire has retained its 'good' Ofsted rating following a December inspection.

The inspectors praised UTC Oxfordshire's industry-specific focus, relationships, and special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) provisions, leading to a positive review from the education watchdog.

Situated in Didcot, the school was described by inspectors as a place where "pupils are excited about the opportunities provided that will help them to pursue careers in science and engineering".

Herald Series: UTC OxfordshireUTC Oxfordshire (Image: UTC Oxfordshire)

They noted the school’s curriculum specifically gives each pupil a deep understanding of the industry they wish to pursue and the route to get there.

The inspectors praised the school's preparation of its students for a successful future, saying: "The school’s environment reflects what they [the pupils] imagine the workplace to be."

They observed positive lessons, where pupils were seen to enjoy testing their knowledge, and detailed provision towards pupils' career aspirations.

Samantha Knowlton, executive principal of UTC Oxfordshire, said: "I am thrilled to share this news that our recent Ofsted inspection resulted in a positive report reflecting a strong 'good' for UTC Oxfordshire.

"The report reflects the dedication, hard work and collaborative spirit of our entire school community.

"I am delighted to highlight the commendations received and we will continue in our unwavering commitment to foster curiosity, critical thinking and a passion for science and engineering excellence.''

Commenting on the school’s links to industry, the inspectors acknowledged that students benefit greatly from its close ties to local businesses and organisations, helping students understand their future options.

The report also praised the school's tailored support for pupils with SEND, who are integrated fully into class discussions and learning activities.

John Kelly, chair of governors, said: "I am delighted that the hard work of all the pupils, the teachers and the whole staff team has been recognised in this very positive inspection result.

"I am particularly proud that the personal development of our pupils is viewed in the same positive light as our science and engineering curriculum offer and am excited about the next steps in our journey for our students, our staff and our local stakeholders."

The inspectors highlighted the work of the school's pastoral support system in ensuring pupils feel safe.

Joanne Harper, CEO of Activate Learning Education Trust, said: "The report rightly highlights the benefits for our students of working with employers.

"This is a unique opportunity in the area for students to experience profound employer engagement; the staff should be enormously proud of their achievements and creating a school where students thrive."