DELIGHTED staff and students are celebrating today after their school was rated “good” for the first time after 26 years.
Colchester Academy was given the rating following an Ofsted visit last month.
Government statistics show it is the fourth best in Colchester in terms of the progress children make while at the school.
Since education body Ofsted was formed in 1992, the academy, which was formerly called Sir Charles Lucas School, has never been awarded a “good” rating – the second best score.
Fiona Pierson, who became the headteacher almost three years ago, put the improvement down to the work of everyone at the school.
She said: “So much work has been put in by everyone here from the staff, to the children, to the parents.
“Having such a great school is something the whole community can look at and be proud of.
“But I think the important thing to say is the job isn’t done and it never will be done because we have to keep up the high standards we’ve set.”
Miss Pierson has also been nominated for Headteacher of the Year 2018 at the Essex Teaching Awards.
She said: “That’s a bit embarrassing really. It’s not just myself who has helped to turn things around so I think it’s recognition for the whole school rather than just myself.
“Of course, I’m grateful to be nominated and shortlisted but I think embarrassing is definitely the word.”
The school was put into special measures in July 2015 when pupils were found to be underachieving.
During the last inspection at the school in December 2015 three of the fours areas on which schools are judged were assessed as “requires improvement”.
But now all four have been ranked good by inspectors who noted teaching, achievement, behaviour and attendance had all improved.
The rating means every secondary school and academy in Colchester now has an Ofsted rating of at least good.
St Helena School in Sheepen Road, Colchester, has also maintained its “good” rating following an inspectors’ visit last month.
Proud – St Helena headteacher Zoe King with head girl Chloe Gregor and head boy Joel Barnett
Headteacher Zoë King said: “I am delighted that Ofsted again judged the school to be good.
“This is a fantastic report which highlights the real strengths which exist at St Helena School.
“It is the combined efforts of our staff, students and parents which have ensured St Helena School remains a good school delivering a high quality of education for the community.”
The report stated following a period of concern, the school has taken steps to ensure maths is improving.
However, it pointed out teaching in languages is not as strong as other subjects.
St Helena’s School’s full report can be viewed at st-helena.essex.sch.uk.