A SALISBURY school has turned around its fortunes four years after it was told to improve by Ofsted inspectors.

In February 2013, the education watchdog rated Sarum Academy 'requires improvement' but, following a recent inspection, the secondary school has seen its rating improved to ‘good’.

It comes after the academy was listed among the worst-performing secondaries in the country, according to official performance tables, and the resignation of former principal Ruth Johnson in April 2016.

The academy appointed temporary headteacher Jonathon Curtis to take over the helm full time in April this year and, according to inspectors, his “strong leadership has led to rapid improvements”.

Mr Curtis said: “It is a pleasure for me to read such positive praise for the school and its community, and recognition of the contribution we have all made in achieving some of the best examination outcomes in Wiltshire. It is testament of a school that values each member of the community and works relentlessly to add value to their lives.

“Whilst the report gives me immense satisfaction who knows where our journey might take us. For me personally I am immensely proud of the hard work and dedication of every member of staff, every pupil, the governors and members of the community who have contributed to our success and by all admissions the transformation to a good school at the very least. Together we worked hard and achieved more.”

The school has also recently joined the Magna Learning Partnership in a bid to strengthen its development further.

The academy was rated good in the five areas inspected by Ofsted, including effectiveness of leadership and management, quality of teaching, learning and assessment and, personal development, behaviour and welfare, and 16 to 19 study programmes.

After the visit in October, inspector David New noted that the quality of marking by teachers had improved, along with leadership approach from teachers and managers – compared to findings in the school’s inspection in 2015.

In his report, Mr New said: “Leaders and managers use effective approaches to managing teachers’ performance. Teachers are well supported. Opportunities for professional development improve their practice further.

“Teachers provide pupils with effective feedback about the quality of their work and how to improve it, in line with the school’s assessment policy. As a result, pupils make good progress towards challenging targets.”

The progress and achievement of pupils at the school was also reported to be a strength with inspectors finding that “pupils make good progress and are challenged to take responsibility for their own learning”.

However, inspectors noted that attendance of a small group of pupils “remains stubbornly low” which has affected the school’s overall figures. They added that teachers do not routinely provide opportunities for pupils who have missed work through absence to catch up.