A BARNSLEY school rated ‘requires improvement’ at its last Ofsted inspection has now been told it is officially a ‘good school’.

Barnsley Academy was praised in a highly positive report published this week in which inspectors praised the ‘big changes’ which have been made in recent years. The changes included improvements to the curriculum, the recruitment of more specialist teachers and the setting of higher expectations of behaviour and learning.

The inspectors said they were highly impressed by the attitudes of students and how excited and engaged they are in their learning. They also described the academy as ‘calm and purposeful’ and they also found that behaviour is good, attendance is increasing and exclusions are reducing.

Inspectors described the personal development of pupils as a particular strength of the school. They cited opportunities such as becoming cultural ambassadors and said that they nurtured a better understanding of other cultures and beliefs amongst pupils.

Principal Steve Dixon said about the report: “We are delighted with this report which demonstrates how far Barnsley Academy has come in recent years. We are incredibly fortunate to have an excellent team of staff who always go above and beyond for students to give each and every one a chance to succeed. Barnsley Academy has undergone a step change in recent years and this report shows that we have all the foundations in place to continue to go from strength to strength.

“Our recent success, however, would not have been possible without the support of our parents and the wider Barnsley community. We are very proud to serve this part of Yorkshire and give young people here an enjoyable, challenging and inspirational education. Our students amaze me every day with their enthusiasm and determination to succeed. It is an honour to lead this academy and give our students the education they deserve.”