A HAMPSHIRE college has been transformed into a good school - just one year after it was rated inadequate.

Applemore College in Dibden Purlieu achieved the second highest grading possible following an Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted) inspection earlier this month.

A notice to make significant improvements has now been withdrawn. It followed years of poor management.

Head teacher Matthew Longden, who led the turnaround when he joined the college last September, said: "We have worked so hard and took on board what Ofsted said to us. We have worked closely with the local authority and governors, as well as pupils and parents.

"It's been a monumental task to drive the school forward and it really is a different place."

Ofsted inspectors found "major weaknesses had been eradicated" and the college was "well placed to continue to improve".

It singled out Mr Longden's leadership as outstanding, and praised the teamwork. The report said his clearly articulated vision was widely shared by adults and students.

It added: "In the year since he was appointed he has put strategies into place to raise standards, reduce the large deficit budget, improve teaching and the curriculum and establish good communications with parents. He has been successful in all of these things."

Mr Longden said the turnaround - within a tight budget - had involved staff restructuring without job losses.

The under-subscribed sixth form, which was a drain on school finances, has been closed.

Pupils have become more involved and are regularly quizzed for their views and ideas, with a college council and strengthened prefect system.

Head girl Zoe Smith, 16, was even given the job of producing the college's latest prospectus Going Forward Together. She said: "Applemore's much better. We now all love coming here. The atmosphere is great."

Hythe councillor and school governor Brian Dash said: "This is a fantastic result and it's all due to excellent leadership and hard work by everyone at the school. If you go into the school you can feel the buzz."

Applemore College, which has specialist status in technology, has 661 students, aged 11 to 16.