School is the most improved in nation
AN academy which two years ago was Bristol's worst-performing school has been crowned the most improved in the country.
According to league tables published by the Department for Education (DfE), no school in England witnessed a bigger jump in GCSE results last summer than Oasis Academy Brightstowe in Shirehampton.
The proportion of students achieving five A* to C grades including English and maths was 62 per cent, a remarkable increase on the previous year's 30 per cent.
The achievement was confirmed to the academy's principal Matt Butler after the reams of performance data released by the DfE on Thursday had been closely examined.
Mr Butler has always suspected Brightstowe would earn the title of the nation's most improved school since provisional GCSE results were revealed last August.
He said the accolade was not only a boost for the academy but for Bristol as well.
Mr Butler, who took over as the academy as principal in 2010, said: "For Bristol to have the most improved school in the country is a great statement.
"People have taken a lot of time to say how bad Bristol education is. It's great to be able to say to people like Lord Adonis, 'Do you know what, we are going places. We have the most improved school in the country and Bristol is the place of the future'.
"I've never been in this situation before so we're not sure what we will receive in terms of recognition.
"I've not had Michael Gove on the phone yet."
The amazing turnaround in results now puts the school seventh in a league table of Bristol's 20 state-funded schools.
The school became an academy in 2008, when the percentage of pupils achieving at least five A*-C grade GCSEs including English and maths was just 24 per cent.
Ninety-five per cent of students at the school achieved five A*-C grades in any subject, an increase of 13 per cent on last year and a huge jump on the 35 per cent registered four years ago.
Among the top-performing students was Cheyanne Lloyd, 16, from Shirehampton, who overcame adversity to secure 12 GCSE passes, including C grades in maths and English.
City council cabinet member for children and young people, Alastair Watson, said: "Academy schools are proving to be a significant part of the improvement picture for Bristol exam results.
"Overall the city schools have made a 16 per cent improvement over the last five years and I look forward to seeing how partnership working will help continue this upward trend."
Overall, the percentage of students receiving five good GCSEs at grades A* to C in Bristol schools rose to almost 52 per cent, an increase of two per cent on the previous year and an increase of 16 per cent on five years ago.
Bristol's mayor George Ferguson said: "I am delighted to see this continuing improvement in results achieved by students in secondary schools in the city.
"A 16 per cent rise in the last five years shows clearly that changes to education in Bristol are directly benefiting students each year."