Two Sunderland schools named among the UK’s best

Pupils at Southmoor hard at work.
Pupils at Southmoor hard at work.
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TWO city schools are celebrating being among the country’s best.

Washington School and Southmoor Academy have both been rated in the top 100 best-performing schools nationally.

Schools Minister David Laws has written to the schools congratulating them on their achievement of being among the most improved.

The accolade was for the improved results from 2011 to 2012 for pupils of all abilities across the schools, including lower, middle and high achievers.

John Hallworth, executive principal at Washington School, said the letter from the minister is recognition of all the hard work which has gone into turning the school around.

“The new management team has put in a huge amount of effort,” he added. “We have looked at every single aspect of the school, reviewed it and improved it. We have worked with our young people to improve their attitudes and approach towards learning and it really is a transformed school. We are very pleased.”

Washington School enjoyed its best ever set of GCSE results last year, which included 63 per cent of the pupils gaining five or more A*-C grades with maths and English, compared to 38 per cent the year before.

Southmoor Academy principal Dr Phil Ingram said: “This is a really significant event for us.

“There are around 4,000 secondary schools in the country and to be in the top 100 is something for the whole of Sunderland to celebrate.”

Senior assistant principal Jon Nicholson, who has been at the Ryhope Road school for 36 years, said: “It’s important that we go on improving, but we keep what matters most the same and that is the happiness of our children which Ofsted said was outstanding.”

In his letter, Mr Laws said: “I would like to congratulate your staff, governors and pupils for their hard work and success and thank you for your leadership in continuing the drive towards high standards of educational achievement.”

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