Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

RELAUNCHED, REVIVED; School Begins New Era as an Academy

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

RELAUNCHED, REVIVED; School Begins New Era as an Academy

Article excerpt

Byline: JOANNA DESIRA

A SCHOOL which has turned around its fortunes is hoping to build on its new-found success after relaunching as an academy.

In its last year pupils at Thornaby Community School achieved 97% A*-C at GCSE, and 30% achieved the standard including English and maths.

The much-improved results came less than 18 months after the school was placed under special measures.

Stockton Council worked with Outwood Grange Academy, in Wakefield, to achieve the transformation at Thornaby Community School before it closed in the summer.

And Maryssa O'Connor, principal, believes the success in last year's GCSEs provide a good foundation for the new Thornaby Academy, which she now heads, to build on.

Thornaby Academy has opened on the site of the former Community School, with a new logo, spruced-up building, complete with new technology, and a smart new uniform for pupils.

It works closely with its main sponsors Teesside University, and co-sponsors Stockton Sixth Form College, Stockton Riverside College, and Stockton Council.

Its mission is Inspiring Success and Enterprise and its specialisms are business and enterprise with a focus on digital media.

Mrs O'Connor, who is from Middlesbrough, attended King's Manor School, Acklam Sixth Form College and completed her degree in English at Teesside University.

She was previously deputy headteacher at Tanfield School, in County Durham.

She said: "The opportunity to work with the sponsors - the university and colleges - was a big attraction, and also the opportunity to work in a school with so much potential.

"I am enjoying working with the university again and feeling like I'm making a difference to the region.

"The specialism of the academy is an important part of that as well. The results in the summer were much better than anything achieved in the past and gave the academy a positive start. …

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