A once failing Worksop school has transformed its fortunes to become one of the best in England.
Two years ago, Outwood Academy Portland was rated as one of the worst performing schools in the country and was categorised as failing by Ofstead.
But its recent performance has placed it in the top one per cent of schools in England.
The Value Added League Tables for 2013 show that Portland is ranked 39 out on 6356 schools in England, making it the highest performing school in Notts and Derbyshire.
Principal Philip Smith said the result reflects just what can be achieved when students, teachers and support staff all work together.
“We are never complacent and are already well on the way to having another record breaking year, our current Year 11 students are ahead of last year’s with 60 per cent already certificated with Maths and English,” he said.
“I am very proud of what our staff have achieved, but especially of the attitude and ability of Worksop children, who now know they are the best in England.”
The Value Added League Tables measure pupils’ progress from when they started at the school to their GCSE results.
Since the school became an academy it has had a ‘fresh start,’ said Dr Smith. The school changed its name and a new uniform was introduced.
“When I first came into Portland it had a reputation and people were proud to be in the bottom 10 per cent of schools in England,” he said.
“We worked with staff and students and everybody has worked together.”
“The achievement is massively down to the students.”
“The teachers are outstanding and every single thing they do is for the students. We couldn’t do it without the students.”
Many pupils take some GCSE exams early, with the school firmly having the belief that pupils should be entered for exams when they are ready, regardless of their age.
Year 11 pupil Alex Herrighton gained six GCSE grades A to C when he was in years nine and ten, while Hannah Mulvey gained seven A* to B grades.
Both felt that behaviour was one of the biggest changes at the school, with teachers now able to focus wholly on teaching and learning.
Despite the school’s transformation, Dr Smith felt that there is still room for improvement.
He said: “Last year we have 75 per cent of pupils leave with five GSCEs A* to C including English and Maths. To be in the top five per cent of England we had to get 72 per cent.”
“We are on target to get 80 per cent this year, 60 per cent of year 11 pupils have already achieved it. We will never be happy. There is always something else to aim for.”