STAFF and pupils at Alcester Academy are celebrating after it was named among the top 100 non-selective state-funded schools in the country.
The Gerrards Road high school, whose past achievements have often been overshadowed by Alcester Grammar, got the good news in a letter from Education Minister Nick Gibb last Friday (June 10).
Delighted headteacher Paul Hyde said the only puzzle now was that, after doing so well in their exam results, a recent Ofsted inspection only rated them ‘Good’ for outcomes.
“We are absolutely thrilled, although it’s a bit of a shame about Ofsted as we’ve hit all the criteria they require to be ‘Outstanding’,” he said.
“However that’s not to detract from this achievement and credit must go to the staff, pupils and in particular the parents.
“We have opened practically every Saturday morning for targeted extra learning opportunities in English, Maths and Science and we have had upwards of 50 students attending. No one forces them to come and the parents have supported us 100 per cent.”
Mr Hyde arrived at the school nearly three years ago as deputy head, becoming substantive head two years ago.
Ofsted has already praised the strong leadership he has given but he said it was more a case of changing hearts and minds.
“When I took over I asked for an Ofsted report and they said that we ‘Required Improvement’ and they were absolutely right.
“But our motto is ‘To Be the Best That We Can Be’ and it was a case of enhancing that ‘can-do’ attitude, changing the mindset of staff and pupils that we do not live in anyone’s shadow; we have selective schools all around us but we are not going to be second best to anyone.
“To say we are in the top 100 gives me a great sense of pride but it’s a team effort and has been achieved by all.”