Sidmouth College praised for being among top ten improved schools

SIDMOUTH COLLEGE has been named one of 10 most improved secondary schools in England, eight months after being slammed by Ofsted inspectors.

SIDMOUTH COLLEGE has been named one of 10 most improved secondary schools in England, eight months after being slammed by Ofsted inspectors.

New figures published by the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust show it has made significant improvements in its GCSE results.

Last year 67 percent of students achieved five or more A* to C passes; including English and maths, 20 percent up on 2007.

These best ever results were predicted by former principal David Birch last June when the college was given a Notice to Improve by Ofsted Inspectors.

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{Then inspectors stated: "Progress has been significantly below average in both English and mathematics and the college's targets for GCSE were not met."}

"It doesn't surprise me at all," said Sylvia Martin, chairman of governors, on hearing the college was rated ninth in the top ten.

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"The amount of work already done by staff in response to that Ofsted report has been fantastic. It has been really difficult and they have tackled it with tremendous enthusiasm."

Principal Jeremy Roberts received a framed certificate from the Trust's chairman, Sir James Hill, at its celebration dinner in London on Tuesday, which will be displayed in the college foyer.

Mr Roberts said: "It is wonderful for the college to achieve national recognition in this way.

"Students feel motivated to match this achievement and my colleagues know that their tremendous efforts to drive up standards are appreciated. I am hugely grateful to the college and students who worked so hard to achieve these results.

"I hope that the community that we serve is given confidence by awards such as this."

Mrs Martin said staff was monitoring the action plan put in place after the Notice to Improve and said many other areas were "blossoming" such as community work and green issues.

"It is very important that we have them continue."

While Mr Birch set up some of these, Mr Roberts had given staff "new inspiration.

"When you are working as hard as you possibly can and you are then told to work harder, it must be difficult for them," she said.

The Trust's chief executive, Elizabeth Reid, said: "I congratulate this school, its teachers and students for this significant achievement and the contribution it makes to the local community.

"High performing schools are playing a major role to ensure every young person receives an education fit for the challenges of the 21st century.

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