BANKFIELD School in Widnes branded ‘inadequate’ by Ofsted inspectors and placed in special measures is to become an Ormiston Academy.

Today’s announcement follows a monitoring visit by HMI Inspector David Selby who said he was impressed by improvements that have been achieved since education chiefs and an interim executive board were appointed in January.

John Rigby, principal of Ormiston Bolingbroke Academy in Runcorn, has been acting as interim head teacher with a team of specialists drafted in to turn the school around.

Ofsted Inspector Mr Selby carried out a progress visit on February 26.

Mr Selby said: “Improvement has already started to happen in teaching, learning and attendance. Leadership at all levels has started to improve.

“Students recognise the impact of the new approaches to leadership and, in particular, the higher expectations of their behaviour.”

Tuesday Humby, interim deputy head teacher, said: “We are working extremely hard to bring around the necessary changes quickly.

“It was pleasing to have such a strong endorsement from Ofsted that we are making great progress in moving the school out of special measures.”

Lord Nash has approved proposals for The Bankfield School to be sponsored by Ormiston Academies Trust. This means that it will become an Ormiston Academy from September 2014.

Ms Humby added:”This is already having a significant impact on the school as staff are working closely together in a variety of different areas to learn from and replicate the successes in both schools.

“The students have been informed of the changes and are very keen to give us their views on their wishes for their new Academy, the most prominent being a new uniform and a name change.

“The students at Bankfield really do deserve the best and we are confident that the Ormiston Academy Order will ensure that they receive this.”

Mr Selby and a large team of Ofsted inspectors will return to the school in the summer to observe lessons and carry out a more detailed progress check.