'Outstanding progress' for improving St Mark's Academy school in Mitcham

St Mark's is one of the fastest improving schools in London

St Mark's is one of the fastest improving schools in London Buy this photo

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The headteacher of an improving academy school has praised the “strong values inspired by being a church school” after inspectors gave it the thumbs up.

St Mark’s Church of England school, in Acacia Road, Mitcham, was rated as “good” by Ofsted this week after an inspection in the first week of October, with some students said to be making “outstanding” progress.

Three years ago, the church-sponsored academy was struggling and was given a “notice to improve”, but in the last two years has seen its GCSE results improve significantly – from 23 per cent in 2010 to 56 per cent this year.

Its principal, Chris Mallaband, put the improvements down to “hard work, a commitment to strong values inspired by being a Church school and finally having fabulous young people in the academy.

He said: “The young people here are amazing and they are clearly going to be fantastic ambassadors of the academy, Mitcham and South London when finally leave us.”

The school prides itself on taking "inspiration and guidance from the Gospel of St. Mark" and of being a community founded on "trust hope and love".

It adds: "Our trust encourages us to rely on God, and one other, as we all take responsibility for ourselves and for the whole school community."

It is one of the first inspections under a Ofsted regime, introduced in September by former London Headteacher, Sir Michael Wilshaw, now Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Schools.

Although noting the rapid improvement in exam results, the school was not given an “outstanding” rating in achievement, the report said, because “the proportion of students who make exceptional progress over time in English and Mathematics, including the more-able students, is not consistently high.”

The school’s governing body was praised as “outstanding” with inspectors reserving particular acclaim for the chairman, Dr Geraldine Hutchinson, for “strategic and decisive actions which have assisted the rapid improvement in achievement.”

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