Academy given top marks for progress

EDUCATION inspectors have praised the progress made by the Northumberland Church of England Academy’s nine campuses in Ashington, Newbiggin and Lynemouth.

Academy executive director Phil Hearne said: “Getting a good judgement of good progress is wonderful news.

“There is still work to do, but thanks must go to everyone who has supported us and shown faith in the academy.

“To reach this stage in under two years is quite remarkable.”

The report highlighted the academy’s good work from the youngest pupils upwards, noting a “clear and effective focus on improving early-years provision” with even better improvements further up the school.

Mr Hearne added: “Last summer, our exam results were better than ever, and the academy gained a place in the national top 100 for improvement.

“We have been building on that success, and this summer, we expect the students to get into even better results.”

The academy, made up of nine campuses on five sites in south east Northumberland, was praised by the Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted) for the quality and effectiveness of its teaching.

Its report says: “Curricular developments are contributing positively to improving pupils’ achievement and attendance and ensuring better quality of opportunity for all.

“School-based literacy initiatives are helping to hasten pupils’ progress in reading and increasing their confidence in sharing their views and feelings.

“The 14-10 curriculum has been restructured to meet the developing needs and interests of the pupils, the vast majority of whom report that there are better options available, with improved advice and guidance procedures.”

The academy, opened in September 2009, comprises the Richard Grainger, Robert Stephenson, Thomas Bewick, James Knott and Josephine Butler campuses in Ashington and the William Leach Campus in Lynemouth, along with the Jackie Milburn, John Dobson and Grace Darling campuses in Newbiggin.

The Richard Grainger, Robert Stephenson, Jackie Milburn and John Dobson campuses will close this summer and their pupils will be transferred to other academy sites nearby in September.