PRIME Minister David Cameron came to Runcorn today to pledge an end to the “merry-go-round” where people on low wages paid tax only for the Government to hand back money in welfare payments.

He said Britain needed to become “a higher wage, lower tax, lower welfare society” rather than relying on the state to top up pay packets.

He vowed to improve education, build stronger families and get more unemployed people into work.

He chose Ormiston Bolingbroke Academy in Murdishaw to make his keynote speech because he said it epitomised how disadvantage can be turned into achievement.

He said: “This is an amazing school.

“It has come from being one of the worst performing schools to being the best.

“To go from one-fifth of students gaining five good GCSEs to over two-thirds is a remarkable transformation.

“And to do it in a school with 65 per cent of children on free school meals demonstrates what this whole speech is about.  This is what social mobility looks like.”

Executive principal John Rigby said: “The visit of the Prime Minister gave us great pride in our school and community.

“It recognises all our hard work and outstanding results.”

When the academy opened in 2010, he said there were 530 pupils and only 20 per cent achieved five good GCSE results.

Mr Rigby added: “Last year, we had 68 per cent good GCSE results and this year’s figures are predicted to be even higher.

“This is above the national average.”

He said 52 students in the newly established sixth form went to university last year, the first in their families to reach further education.

The school is expecting its biggest ever intake in September increasing pupils to almost 1,000.

Mr Rigby added: “We have a fantastic team of teachers who develop excellent relationships with pupils.

“We are all working together to get good results.”

Head teacher Mark Wyss said: “We offer a vast range of options and use a lot of extra resources.

"We have a fantastic relationship with the community.

"It is important for us to be a  beacon of opportunity not only to children but to their parents.

"We firmly believe there is no limit to the opportunities that can be opened up through learning and instilling the highest aspirations.”