CHEERS and tears met the news an under-pressure school had been removed from special measures after two years.

The Basildon Upper Academy has been upgraded from “inadequate” to “requires improvement” after Ofsted inspectors visited in December.

They said the behaviour and safety of pupils and leadership and management was good, although the achievement of pupils and quality of teaching still needed to be addressed.

Staff and pupils were told at a special assembly on Monday, with a number of teachers into tears.

Chief inspector Adrian Lyons reserved special praise for executive principal Bev Bell, who he said had: “Skilfully steered the academy’s recovery and galvanized staff.”

Mrs Bell said: “We are thrilled to bits with the report. Our inspection in January 2013 said we weren’t doing enough towards the removal from special measures, so to achieve what we have in 11 months is terrific.

“If we can improve those, and the progress made by boys, I am confident when we are next inspected, we will be at least a good school, with outstanding features.

“The governing body has taken all the information on board and held us to account. This is great news for Basildon, as we can now support other schools, as we have been supported in the past.”

The school recently celebrated when the Lower Academy was removed from special measures.

Mrs Bell said her future remained at the academies. She said she will still be at the academies when Ofsted inspect in 24 months’ time although she may be overseeing progress, with another executive principal installed.

The sixth form was also saluted with students “making very good progress”.

Gary Smith, Head of Upper Academy, said: “We are absolutely delighted with the outcome of our recent Ofsted inspection which provides us with a solid foundation from which to achieve our highly aspirational goals.”