A SUNDERLAND school is celebrating national praise for the achievement of students.
Southmoor Academy has been dubbed as one of the best schools in the country when it comes to the progress students make.
Sue Williamson, chief executive of the Specialist Schools and Academy Trust (SSAT), awarded a certificate to the Ryhope Road school after identifying it as one of the top 20 per cent of schools in the country for the progress made by pupils between primary school and age 16.
She said: “Southmoor Academy is one of the best schools in the country in outperforming expectations for their pupils and improving their future prospects.
“There is plenty that other schools could learn from Southmoor’s success.
“These results are testament to the commitment and hard work of the students, teachers and leadership team and a vindication of their belief in high expectations, good teaching and ambition for every young person.
“Southmoor Academy should be congratulated for their stunning performance in adding value to their students’ achievements.”
Chairman of governors Dr John Brown said: “This award confirms what the pupils and the community already knew, that Southmoor Academy is really making a difference in the lives of young people.”
The academy is due to open its own sixth form in September 2014.
Interest in places is already high as major plans for a new curriculum, additional staffing and significant premises upgrades are underway.
Academy principal Dr Phil Ingram said: “The Department for Education recognised our success in allowing us to be the first school in Sunderland in many years to open our own sixth form.
“We believe that the impressive trajectory of improvement between ages 11 to 16 can be continued on for another two years allowing us to place young adults in worthwhile careers and top universities.
“In line with Government thinking, the academy has changed it’s curriculum so as to deliver mainly GCSEs with fewer of the options which look good in league tables but don’t necessarily always have real value for the individual student.
“In the light of this our success is even more apparent.”