A SCHOOL has been given national praise for some of the fastest improving GCSE results in the country.
Southmoor Academy is among the top 10 per cent of schools in England for improving results year-on-year from 2008 to 2011.
The schools saw a leap of 23 per cent in the number of pupils gaining five or more A*-C grades including maths and English, from 45 per cent in 2008 to 68 per cent in 2011.
Southmoor, in Ryhope Road, Sunderland, has been praised for its work by the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust (SSAT), which is a representative body for schools.
Sue Williamson, chief executive of the SSAT, said: “Southmoor has proved itself to be one of the best schools in the country at improving GCSE outcomes for their students. 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.
“Successful schools like Southmoor understand the value of data, such as these progress measures, in helping to ensure all young people perform to the very best of their ability. The progress measures show how schools make a difference and raise achievement above expectations.”
Southmoor Academy principal Phil Ingram said: “This is great news. We only just missed the award by less than one per cent last year so it’s great to have finally got there.
“I know that we are on an upward course and there is even more improvement to come over the next three years.”
The news comes on top of the school’s recent conversion to an academy, which Dr Ingram says will allow the school to develop new and exciting initiatives for the pupils.
Dr Ingram said this is a really exciting time for the school. As well as becoming an academy it has also launched a football academy and will be undergoing a huge renovation project to improve the school building before the start of the new term in September.
John Brown, chairman of governors at the school, said: “At a time when many schools are slipping into trouble with Ofsted as the bar is raised higher and higher, it’s great to know that Southmoor is staying well above what’s required.”