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Chase High is top of the improved class
JUBILANT teachers and pupils are celebrating after a remarkable turnaround in a school’s fortunes from failing to one of the most improved in the country.
Chase High School, in Prittlewell Chase, Westcliff , was previously known as Prittlewell Technology College before changing its name to escape its failing tag.
Six years on, the Department of Education has named the school as one of the top 40 most improved across Britain.
The impressive accolade comes after a successful Ofsted report in September last year praised the school for being “an extremely caring school” where staff, pupils and parents are proud of what has been achieved in recent years. From 2009 to 2011, the number of pupils receiving A* to C in all subjects, including maths and English, rose from 18 per cent to 40 per cent. That is set to further improve when this year’s results are revealed on Thursday.
Headteacher Victoria Overy is the first to admit the school did not have the best reputation, but has done her best to turn it around since taking on her new role last year.
She said: “I am so proud of all the hard work and dedication shown by my staff, students and governors which has helped us reach where we are now. The payoff is we are now oversubscribed for September 2012, but we have unfortunately had to turn some parents away who have been eager to join us.
“The work doesn’t stop here, though. We have many exciting plans for the future that will keep us moving onwards and upwards.”
Changes include the introduction of house system tutor groups, where pupils in Years 7 to 11 and all staff members are allocated to smaller communities within the school.
The family atmosphere enables younger pupils to learn from older peers and study in an environment where they have prefects and other senior pupils to lean on for support.
In addition, the school’s recently-built sixth form block provides 16 to 18-year-olds with the opportunity to learn a range of vocational subjects, and even take on a number of paid roles. Mrs Overy has worked hard to develop links within the community and internationally with schools in Australia, America and Africa.