Figures show it’s possible to transform fortunes

COMMENT: The return of good weather shouldn’t bring dread

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There was a time when Mayfield School was a failing school.

The city secondary suffered the indignity of being placed in special measures and things looked pretty bleak.

What a contrast to today’s story about Mayfield celebrating being named by the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust (SSAT) as one of the most improved schools in the whole country.

It has seen its five A*-C figure for GCSE results improve by more than 20 per cent in the past three years and is now ranked in the top 10 per cent of schools in this key area.

No wonder delighted headteacher David Jeapes talks of the pride felt by all those involved in turning around Mayfield.

That includes the dedicated staff, the parents but above all the students who have worked hard and shown such admirable commitment

Sue Williamson, chief executive of the SSAT, was so impressed by what she called a ‘stunning achievement’ that she said Mayfield is an example to other schools about what can be done.

She’s dead right. It just goes to show that fortunes can be transformed, whether in schools, in business or in life.

It takes enormous belief and effort, but it’s possible.

Children want to be in a stimulating environment where they look forward to going every day. Mayfield now provides that.

It’s almost unrecognisable from the place that was once dragged down by under-achievement and a sense of negativity.

Today it’s a vibrant place, where teaching is of a high standard, expectations are high and children are always encouraged to be ambitious.

Mr Jeapes says: ‘This summer is shaping up to be another record-breaking one for the school and I am hoping we can maintain our position amongst the fastest-improving schools in the country.’

We’d certainly echo that sentiment. Now’s the time for Mayfield to push on, to use its dramatic improvement in exam results as a catalyst for continued excellence.

Meanwhile other schools in and around the city should be looking to adopt its successful methods.