A GOVERNMENT minister has heaped praise on a Southend school after it achieved an “Outstanding” Ofsted rating.

The Minister of State for the Schools System, Lord Theodore Agnew, has written to Eastwood Academy after they earned the impressive rating in January.

The academy had a two day inspection in December, only nine months after its previous inspection in March last year, where it got an overall “Good” rating, but due to several areas considered to be outstanding, Ofsted recommended another inspection later in the year.

Now, the academy has attracted praise right from the top of government, with Lord Agnew saying the academy was helping the country achieve “world class” education.

In his letter to head teacher Neil Houchen, Lord Agnew said: “I wanted to take this opportunity to congratulate you on the outcome of your school’s recent Ofsted inspection where you were judged to be outstanding. This is a great testament to your hard work and that of the staff, all your pupils, governors and trustees.

“Our vision is for world-class education for every child. The progress that has been achieved in recent years has only been possible because of the hard work and commitment of thousands of teachers and leaders right across the country – working together to drive up standards for all.

“Thank you, to your staff and pupils for helping, pupil by pupil, to build the outstanding educational landscape that I feel is vital for the next generation of young people in our country. I wish you every success for the future.”

The latest inspection praised the head teacher’s ‘clear, unwavering vision’, pupils’ behaviour, progress and the quality of their leaders. The report said the school’s leaders had an accurate understanding of the school’s strengths, ensures staff training develops individual needs and supports school goals.