AN independent school has received the seal of approval from an education watchdog.

Gosfield School was rated as either good or excellent in a number of key areas, with pastoral care rated as excellent.

Inspectors from the Independent Schools Inspectorate visited the school, near Halstead, last year and published the report at the start of February.

Dr Sarah Welch, Gosfield School Principal, said: “We have had an excellent start to year and receiving such a positive report from the inspectors was the icing on the cake.

“All of the key areas were rated as good or excellent. Pastoral care was rated as excellent, which is particularly pleasing.”

The report was published just before the Government school league tables, which placed the school - which has 214 pupils aged between four and 18 - as the fourth best non-selective school in Essex and ninth in the country.

Colchester businessman Peter Sakal, chair of school governors, added: “Our young people were as always a great credit to the school and the report includes numerous, very positive observations about their good behaviour and excellent attitude to teaching and learning.

“Staff and pupils can be very proud of their hard work and achievements.”

Inspectors did recommend the school should provide a wide range of extra-curricular activities for its pupils