AN inspector who examined the effect of the Christian ethos on students at Salisbury’s Sarum Academy graded the school as being “satisfactory” and praised the principal for leading “robustly” in a period of rapid development.

In the report, the inspector, for the Statutory Inspection of Anglican Schools (SIAS), said that under the “strong Christian leadership” of Ruth Johnson, the school, which has “faced many challenges”, was “beginning to develop its role at the hub of the community and lay sound foundations for its future as a church school”.

It praised the school for being a “highly inclusive place in which to learn” and highlighted the collective acts of worship, “which nurture and encourage a feeling of community”.

It goes on to say that “good behaviour is rewarded and has improved significantly over the last two years. Pupils themselves affirm this and a calm and purposeful atmosphere pervades”.

Pointing out areas for further development, the inspector drew attention to ensuring students were more aware that the values underpinning “their relationships, attitudes and behaviour throughout the academy are specifically Christian” and to ensure that the environment of its new building is visibly a church academy.

Mrs Johnson said: “We were particularly pleased that our core values of respect, aspiration, excellence, tenacity, service and partnership were clearly articulated by the pupils to the inspector.”

Further comment was made about the wider leadership of the Westwood Road academy, which includes the senior team and governors, acknowledging that “they possess a clear view of its strengths and weaknesses and where they wish the academy to be within a realistic timescale”.

Chairman of governors Canon Chancellor Edward Probert added: “Coming on the back of our encouraging summer examination reports this is yet further evidence that Sarum Academy is delivering all that the Academy programme promises in terms of transformation.”