STUDENTS and staff are celebrating the continuing success of their academy as it secures a glowing report from inspectors.

Longfield Academy of Sport, Darlington, has been ranked ‘good’ by Ofsted inspectors just as hundreds of thousands of pounds have been obtained for further development.

For Longfield Academy head girl Yeva Creegan and head boy Connor Chapman, both 16, the inspectors simply confirmed what they have known all along – that their school is good.

“It’s a nice feeling to know that you are going to have the opportunity to do your very best because you are in the best school,” said Connor.

“It actually creates a bit of pressure to keep up the good work, but it is good pressure that will benefit us all in the future.

Yeva added: “We know it is a good school but it is great to hear Ofsted confirm it officially.”

Head teacher Susan Johnson added: “I would like to congratulate all of our students and staff for an excellent report and thank parents and carers for their continued support and for the extremely positive feedback given to inspectors.”

Inspectors rated the school good in all four key areas – leadership and management, behaviour and safety of pupils, quality of teaching and achievement of pupils.

They highlighted Mrs Johnson’s dynamism and gritty determination and her high ambitions and resolute drive to improve the academy’s performance, which had resulted in a significant turnaround.

This had resulted in students attaining good GCSEs, particularly in English and maths, which were above the national average.

The number of able students was rising with a higher than average proportion on track to attain the highest grades, the report said.

Well-led and managed teaching was helping raise aspirations of all students and eradicate underachievement.

Inspectors praised exemplary behaviour in lessons and social time, with high attendance and low exclusion rates reflecting students’ enjoyment and keenness to learn.

Governance was highlighted as strong with governors using their expertise to help the school’s leadership team strengthen performance.

Since becoming the centrepiece of the Longfield Academy Trust in 2011 the school has witnessed radical improvements to learning and facilities.

The construction of a £1.8m sports hall was followed by a purpose-built £330,000 dining facility, new heating, replacement windows, new furniture and decoration, creating the best environment in which to teach and learn.

Another £200,000 has now been secured for recreational facilities to refurbish an old PE area, yard and changing rooms.The rejuvenation of the fabric of the school has been matched by a revamp of the curriculum, improved teaching, governance and results – achievements recognised in the latest Ofsted inspection report.

Mrs Johnson said she was particularly pleased with the increase in the number of Longfield pupils going into further and higher education.

She said “We have a fantastically inclusive ethos at Longfield with extremely high aspirations for all of our pupils. Following this inspection we will now continue on our journey to becoming an outstanding school. It is the clear aim of everyone here ensuring all our pupils are successful, confident and ambitious young people.”