Sunderland primary’s progress wins praise from Schools Minister

Jane Walton, headteacher at Hasting Hill Academy, with some of the children.
Jane Walton, headteacher at Hasting Hill Academy, with some of the children.
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Youngsters at a Wearside school are celebrating being given the thumbs up from the Schools Minister.

Nick Gibbs MP, Minister of State for Schools, has written to Hasting Hill Academy to praise staff and students their progress.

The Tilbury Road primary is among one of the country’s top schools for the progress is has made.

Jane Walton, headteacher at the school, said everyone is excited and delighted with the recognition.

She said: “We were thrilled to receive this letter, acknowledging all the hard work and brilliant achievements by our children.

“Louise Saunders, the school’s headteacher up until last summer, has expressed her absolute delight that the school’s achievements have been recognised in this way.

“Being part of Wise Academies has certainly had a huge impact on standards. We intend to build upon last year’s fantastic outcomes and continue to move the school forward.”

In his letter, Mr Gibb said: “I am writing to congratulate you, your staff and your pupils for the progress your children are making.

“Your school’s results, as published on 10 December, show that you are amongst the 100 top perfoming schools in terms of the progress your pupils make between Key Stage 1 and the end of Key Stage 2.

“We want to ensure that every child progresses to the very best of their ability in reading, writing and mathematics, so that they have the fluency in these subjects to enable them to succeed at secondary school and beyond.

“Your school is clearly putting great effort into achieving this.

“Thank you for your work in continuing the drive towards high standards of educational achievement and congratulations again to you and your staff for your hard work and professionalism.”

This news is partcularly welcome for Hasting Hill Academy, which, as a local authority primary school, was placed in special measured in 2011.

In a bid to improve the school, Hastings Hill became part of the We Inspire Success and Excellence, Academies Trust (Wise), which also includes Bexhill Academy and Town End Academy, both based in Sunderland’s Town End Farm.

The school, which was officially opened as Hastings Hill Academy by former Sunderland skipper Kevin Ball almost two years ago and has continued to improve and has since been praised as good by Ofsted inspectors.