Minister praises school

Staff and students at Easington Academy are celebrating after being praised for their good work by the government's schools minister. Pictured is head teacher Toni Spoors with students (from left) Kai Scott, Tamsin Crumbie, Jed Jarvis, Laura Whittaker and Grace Walton.

Staff and students at Easington Academy are celebrating after being praised for their good work by the government's schools minister. Pictured is head teacher Toni Spoors with students (from left) Kai Scott, Tamsin Crumbie, Jed Jarvis, Laura Whittaker and Grace Walton.

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A SCHOOL has been praised by a Government minister after its exam results put in an elite group nationwide.

David Laws, Minister of State for Schools, said Easington Academy has been ranked as one of the top 56 in the country on one of its key measures.

He congratulated staff on the school’s excellent performance in the new similar schools measure in the 2012 School Performance Tables.

The Department for Education’s measure sees schools with similar attainment levels grouped together in the hope they will be able to share ideas and make improvements.

In his letter to headteacher Toni Spoors, the minister said: “You are one of the 56 top performing secondary schools in England on this measure.”

Mr Laws identified that the school stood out in two ways, stating: “First, you were ranked number one in your table. Second, over 10 per cent more of your pupils achieved five good GCSEs including English and maths than is typical of a school with your intake.

“This is a fantastic achievement that you should be very proud of.”

He then went onto congratulate the staff, governors and students for their hard work and thanked Miss Spoors for her leadership.

The school welcomes the minister’s recognition of its excellent work, but it has no intention of resting on its laurels.

The tables are based on the results of 2012 when 68 per cent of students achieved five or more GCSEs at C grade or above, including English and maths.

This figure has now risen to 70.6 per cent.

These results continue the upward trend of recent years.

In 2008, 38 per cent of students achieve five GCSEs, including English and maths.

In the space of five years there has been a 32.6 per cent increase, which establishes very clearly that the school is continuing to improve.

Miss Spoors attributes the improvement to the hard work and commitment shown by students and staff.

It comes after Education Secretary Michael Gove launched another attack on East Durham schools and claimed they “have not been good enough” for too long.

Mr Gove made the comments after Easington MP Grahame Morris asked a question during Education Questions in the House of Commons.

In an attack just months earlier, he claimed East Durham schools “smelled of defeatism”.

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