JUST over a year ago Bridgemary School in Hampshire was told it was failing the children in its care and placed into special measures.

Inspectors said teaching was inadequate, bad behaviour disrupted lessons and results were poor.

But in a remarkable turnaround by staff and students, the Wych Lane school in Gosport can now lay claim to not only being an improved school but one judged as 'Good' by government inspectors.

In just 16 months the school has rocketed up the rankings with leadership being described as "excellent" and having a "relentless and determined focus on improving standards".

Headteacher Vicky White had only just been appointed when the school was put into special measures in October 2014. Since then she and her team have been entirely driven by the need to turn around the school's fortunes.

She said: "I have never had any doubt the school could be great. It’s shown itself to have massive potential – my job is getting people to believe that can happen.

"You have to be robust and resilient, where there’s been poor quality. I’ve worked hard to get the right staff. They all believe the school can be the best. Its testament to the staff and pupils’ resilience – the year 11s for example – they’ve been dealing with inadequate teaching but they still turn up and do their best. We’ve got to get it right for them."

In their report inspectors heaped praise on the improvement across the board.

  • The headteacher’s excellent leadership has led to rapid improvement in all aspects of the academy since the last inspection. The academy has the capacity to improve further.
  • Improving the quality of teaching has been at the centre of the academy’s work. Teaching is now consistently good.
  • Teachers assess pupils’ progress accurately and set work that is well matched to their needs. As a result, pupils make good and sometimes better progress across the academy.
  • Pupils’ behaviour in lessons and around the academy is good. Pupils are polite and respectful.They value learning and take pride in their work and the academy.
  • Leaders promote the welfare and safety of pupils successfully. Pupils say that they feel safe and well cared for.

The inspection team said in order to become an 'outstanding' school must improve a small number of pupils regular absence, improve numeracy skills across the school and staff must improve the quality of teaching of their second subject.