ALAN MAK: Havant Academy progress recognised by national award

Havant MP Alan Mak with schools minister Nick Gibb at Havant Academy with headteacher Helen Cassady
Havant MP Alan Mak with schools minister Nick Gibb at Havant Academy with headteacher Helen Cassady

Solent Waspi holding coffee morning in Southsea

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Attending a good school changed the direction of my life and I know the difference a good school can make.

So supporting local schools across the Havant constituency has been one of my top priorities as Havant MP.

Last year I invited the schools minister Nick Gibb to Havant Academy, in West Leigh, so he could see first-hand how a dedicated group of teachers and parents could come to together to transform a failing school.

As a result of the visit I organised, the minister recommended Havant Academy for the Education Business Outstanding Progress in a Secondary School Award.

I was delighted to find out recently that Havant Academy had beaten six other finalists to win the prize.

Havant Academy is thought to be the most improved state school in the country, going from facing closure in 2010 due to poor performance to now heading towards being recognised by Ofsted as outstanding.

Just in the past two years since I was first elected, I have seen the difference Havant Academy makes to its pupils and the wider community.

I know during the visit just how impressed the minister was by the standard of teaching and the plans the school had in place to continue to improve.

The school is a shining example of the benefits that academisation can bring, and should be a blueprint for others around the country.

Congratulations to principal Helen Cassady, all the governors, staff, parents and pupils on the fantastic achievement.

On Friday, September 15, I’ll be holding my regular constituency drop-in surgery at the Hayling Island Community Centre from 2.30pm to 4pm. No appointment is needed.

Save the date for my second Havant Older Persons Information Fair on Friday, October 13, at Hayling Community Centre from 10am to 2pm.

The event is open to everyone, including the friends, family, neighbours and carers of older people.

Admission and parking are free.