A PENSNETT primary school has been highlighted in a national report for its top work in helping parents and children prepare for the return to school after the coronavirus lockdown.

St Mark’s C of E Primary School is one of just four schools nationally to be directly referenced in the report released this week by the Education Endowment Foundation.

The EEF is an independent charity which supports teachers and school leaders to improve educational outcomes, especially for disadvantaged children and young people.

St Mark’s is mentioned in the EEF Guide to Supporting School Planning, which is designed to support school leaders with planning for the 2020-21 academic year.

It makes reference to the school’s work in supporting families and the community around them to manage the return to school after the Covid-19 lockdown.

The report said the school used its community and wellbeing leader to maintain a strong link between school and home and this was reinforced by regular phone calls by staff and the attendance officer, open email access and home visits to develop strong relationships with parents during a difficult period. It also references how different approaches were adopted for different pupils depending on need.

Councillor Ruth Buttery, Dudley's cabinet member for children and young people, said: "This recognition is testament to all of the continuing excellent work being done by everyone at St Mark’s for the children and community around them."

She said it was "absolutely wonderful news" to see the school mentioned in the report and added: "I truly believe that a dedicated, inspiring teacher can change a child’s life and outlook for good."

Keith Rondeau, headteacher at St Mark’s, said: "The school is extremely pleased to be included in the EEF report; it reflects the brilliant work of all staff and reaffirms our belief that we are a quickly improving school.

"I believe that adversity can bring people together and a significant part of our school vision is ‘working with one another, for one another'.

"We are very proud to serve the community of Pensnett."