Delighted staff, pupils and governors are celebrating as inspectors confirmed their school no longer requires improvement.

Darlinghurst Academy, in Pavilion Drive, Leigh, was rated as Good across the board in its latest Ofsted inspection.

Southend Standard:

Joy - Emma Nicholls and Bev Williams

The findings represent a dramatic improvement from its previous inspection, after which Ofsted issued a damning report which preceded the resignation of its former headteacher in 2016.

Emma Nicholls, Principal of Darlinghurst Academy, said: “Having an inspection team see Darlinghurst Academy as the great school that I know and love, was a momentous moment.

“Our children and staff shone. I am so proud of the hard work and commitment that I see every day.”

School leaders are thrilled with the report which points out every child at Darlinghurst makes “strong” progress and adds pupils “enjoy a rich, varied curriculum, enhanced by a wide range of extra-curricular activities”.

The inspectors, who visited the school last month, point to the effectiveness of Principal Emma Nicholls and academy leaders, together with the school’s Rapid Improvement Board, who have worked “determinedly” since the last inspection to raise standards.

As a result of their actions, the school is now ‘Good’.

In their report released on Friday, inspectors say the quality of teaching and learning is good and high expectations and aspirations are embedded firmly across the academy, adding: “The focus is firmly on providing pupils with the best life chances.”

Inspectors also praised the academy for its work to promote pupils’ personal development and welfare.

It adds behaviour is good and the “polite and respectful” pupils conduct themselves well, “rising to adults’ high expectations of them”.

Early years’ provision is noted for praise, saying staff have created a stimulating learning environment where children play happily and safely.

Darlinghurst Academy, which has 697 pupils, is part of the Legra Academy Trust, which also includes Belfairs Academy in Leigh.

Bev Williams, chief executive of the Legra Academy Trust, said: “I would like to pay tribute to Emma and her staff for their outstanding achievements.

“From the outset, our clear mission was to ensure teaching and learning was good throughout and we have pursued this with vigour.

“Ofsted has clearly noted this due to the strong progress made by every pupil. We are thrilled with the report and would like to thank all those whose commitment and dedication has contributed to our success.”