A study in the educational magazine Tes has ranked Academy 360 as the third most improved school in the UK in a new Fair Secondary School index which takes into account pupils’ backgrounds when looking at their educational progress.
The newly adjusted score ranks the Sunderland school more than 1,600 places above its position in the Department for Education’s official Progress 8 league table looking at how pupils perform in key subjects from the end of primary school aged 11 to when they sit GCSEs at 16.
When taking into account progress at schools with high numbers of pupils with backgrounds including special educational needs, free school meals and social deprivation, Academy 360 saw the third highest gain in league table rankings.
13 photographs of Sunderland school-leavers enjoying their prom night at the Roker Hotel
Sunderland set for huge cash boost as 5,000 descend on city for university's biggest ever graduation party at Stadium of light
Former headteacher to receive Posthumous Fellowship of South Tyneside College
Fantastic photos as Sunderland's Portland Academy students get to go to the ball as prom night returns
Watch as Sunderland pupils explain the benefits of the opening of their new eco-garden
The school has also landed an Inclusion Quality Mark award for its commitment to provide the very best education for all children irrespective of differences.
The assessors’ report said: “The atmosphere and ethos throughout school is friendly and warm. Surrounding this is a steely determination that staff will create an oasis of learning, allowing students to enjoy childhood, grow in confidence and achieve potential.
“Barriers are removed swiftly so that the students can get on with learning and progress can be made.”
Assessors praised Principal Rachel Donohue, staff, Laidlaw Schools Trust which oversees Academy 360 and governors for leading by positive example - holding high aspirations for their pupils and working relentlessly to provide equality of learning opportunities.
Academy 360 also went on to pick up a National Wellbeing Award for promoting emotional wellbeing and mental health.
Judges from award organisers Optimus Education toured the school, observing wellbeing and mindfulness sessions, met pupils, parents and staff to find out the difference these sessions made.
Principal Ms Donohue said: “Everyone at Academy 360 is thrilled to receive these three awards which recognise the huge efforts being made by students, staff, parents and governors.
“We are all united in our determination to deliver the best possible opportunities for our students to learn and grow and to achieve their full potential in life.”