A REMARKABLE turnaround has been completed at a Barnsley school which has been named the best in Barnsley - despite being branded ‘inadequate’ less than three years ago.

Darton Academy school has earned a Progress 8 score - which measures progress pupils make from primary school to their final GCSE exams - of +0.37, topping the table of Barnsley’s ten secondary schools for progress.

The academy has become the most improved in Barnsley after receiving an ‘inadequate’ rating by Ofsted inspectors in October 2017.

This improvement comes after the school, formerly known as Darton College, joined Delta Academies Trust in May 2018 to drive improvement and bring the school out of special measures.

Andy Barnett, executive principal, said: “On average our students left last year with grades which are over a third higher in every GCSE subject than the national average based upon their end of key stage two scores from primary school.

“These results reflect the hard work put in by both students and staff.

“They are an indication of the strong teaching and individual support we provide for our students.”

Elaine Briggs, associate principal, added: “The team at Darton is rightly proud of the positive impact we make to help young people in our academy achieve well, so they can take advantage of every opportunity and fulfil their potential.

“We were delighted with the engagement of the class of 2019.

“They were a fantastic group of students and it was a privilege to work with them.

“We are already hearing about their great progress since leaving us and I’m sure they have bright futures ahead of them.”

The report also highlighted that 94 per cent of leavers have stayed in school or are entering employment.

Lord Agnew, schools minister, said: “These results are truly impressive and demonstrate what can be achieved through the hard work of pupils, teachers and leaders.

“Delta Academies Trust is demonstrating its worth and recording impressive results year after year.”

Paul Tarn, chief executive of Delta Academies Trust, added: “We have the highest expectations for what children can achieve and back this up with strong leadership, excellent teaching and support for all the children and young people in our academies.

“These results demonstrate the positive impact we make to help children and young people in our primary and secondary academies achieve well, whatever their background, and how we add real value from the moment they join our schools, whatever their starting point.

“We are committed to making sure children are getting the first-class education they deserve, so they can take advantage of every opportunity and fulfil their potential.”

Cabinet spokesperson Coun Margaret Bruff praised the school’s turnaround.

“Barnsley Council works very closely with all our schools and academies through the Barnsley Schools Alliance which is helping school leaders across the borough drive up standards and improve outcomes for our pupils,” she said.

“As a council and as a school community, we are particularly proud of the achievements of Delta Academies Trust, the staff and pupils at Darton Academy and would like to congratulate all involved in helping secure these excellent results.”