GOVERNMENT inspectors have said that a failing Hampshire school is beginning to improve following a recent inspection.

Testwood Sports College had been threatened with having governors appointed for them, after their performance was branded “unacceptably low” by school’s minister Lord Nash.

However, following their latest monitoring inspection, school leaders have been told that the changes they are making are having a positive impact.

The latest Ofsted report says that “reasonable progress” is being made towards coming out of special measures.

As previously reported by the Daily Echo, the Testwood Lane school was given the lowest possible rating after an inspection last November.

That was compounded when a follow-up visit concluded that not enough progress was being made.

The then head teacher Ian Appleton, who was due to retire at the end of this academic year, stepped down and was replaced by Jenny Pitman.

Since her appointment the inspectors said rapid improvement has followed.

Speaking to the Echo, Mrs Pitman said: “I am very positive about the direction Testwood is moving in. The latest monitoring report had some good comments for us and shows we are moving in the right direction.”

In the report inspectors praised the better quality of teaching and behaviour of students.

They also welcomed the recent partnership with Arnewood School, rated outstanding by Ofsted, to which Testwood has paid £4,500 for coaching and support work.

Testwood has also worked closely with Wildern School to raise standards in English.

As a result of the latest inspection, the school is once again able to appoint newly qualified teachers – a sanction that is imposed on schools in special measures.

The school is also introducing a new uniform and have reverted back to the traditional school emblem to form the badge that will appear on tops and newly-introduced blazers.

Mrs Pitman said: “We have introduced the uniform following a survey of pupils and parents, and it has largely been well-received.

“In the same way Saints have reverted back to their traditional stripes, so are we going back to our original Testwood emblem.”