MP praises 'inspirational' academy's efforts to change Ofsted special measures ruling
PUBLISHED: 12:02 17 June 2019 | UPDATED: 12:02 17 June 2019
A Somerset secondary school which has boosted its Ofsted rating has been admired and labelled as 'inspirational' by Wells MP James Heappey.
The King Alfred School, an Academy (TKASA) in Highbridge was ranked inadequate by the education regulator in April 2017.
The school joined The Priory Learning Trust (TPLT) in October last year, and has since introduced a new uniform, completed £1.2million roof upgrades and launched a Jill Dando News Centre.
Mr Heappey visited TKASA to see the street-art of Alfred the Great, unveiled at the school on Somerset Day on May 11, where he described the academy as 'inspirational'.
He said: "There is an amazing energy around King Alfred's and it was noticeable how everyone I spoke to, from year seven to sixth form, spoke positively about the changes in the school.
"These things don't happen by accident.
"The staff and leadership at the academy have put in a huge amount of effort to make these improvements over the last eighteen months, so it's pleasing to see the hard work rewarded with such glowing reviews from our young people."
Principal of TPLT Neville Coles said there has been persistent work done to improve the school.
He said: "We have been relentless from the beginning on making the changes necessary to make TKASA an excellent school.
"There has been huge progress."
King Alfred's has also started the first school-based scout group backed by Bear Grylls and Sir Ranulph Fiennes.
The academy received Government funding when it became accredited by TPLT to complete the £1.2million roof upgrades.
The school's news centre was launched in December last year to continue Weston-born Jill's journalistic legacy, who was killed when she was 37 years old in 1999.
Principal Nathan Jenkins said: "We are enthusiastic and excited but there is much more to come.
"The community, parents and carers are really behind the changes and what is happening.
"This is a real partnership.
"The students really look smart and ready for business in their uniform, and there is passion, positivity and the expectation that more amazing things are about to happen here at TKASA."