'Beacon of excellence' hits back at its critics
A DONCASTER school has been singled out as a "beacon of excellence" by a Government minister for being the most improved City Academy in Britain.
Lord Adonis, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Schools and Learners, has written to Ian Brew, the Principal of Trinity Academy at Thorne, to congratulate the school on its GCSE success.
Trinity almost doubled its pass rate for students achieving the national benchmark of five or more GCSEs at A* to C from 33.94 per cent last year to 63.2 per cent this year, making it Doncaster’s most improved school in 2006/07.
The group of pupils was the first the academy had taken through the full two year GCSE course, after it opened in September 2005.
In the handwritten letter to Mr Brew, Lord Adonis wrote: “The improvement you have brought about is remarkable – by far the biggest increase of any academy in both five good GCSEs and five good GCSEs including English and maths.
“What a tribute to you, your staff, your governors and of course the students themselves. And what a beacon of excellence and hope in Doncaster at large.”
The results took Trinity Academy into the top six best schools in Doncaster, a rise of 10 places from last year’s second-from-bottom 16th position.
Mr Brew said: “The consistent approach we have maintained at the academy on discipline and the high expectations and aspirations we set for our students have been criticised by some during the last 12 months. Now I hope that people can see why we have that approach.
“We are of course delighted to receive this recognition from Lord Adonis But what is equally pleasing is that Trinity Academy is a great place to be every day. It’s safe, it’s enjoyable and it is a fantastic working and learning environment.”
Several parents have criticised the school for its strict discipline. High profile cases have included Lee Kilgour and Aidan Redmile, who wer e both suspended because of their hairstyles. Their parents complained the suspensions were against Government guidelines.