A primary school told it needed to improve has “come a long way in a short space of time” according to its principal.

When the Grove Academy, on Fourth Avenue, was last inspected by Ofsted two years ago, it was given an overall rating of “requiring improvement”, particularly in pupil achievement and quality of teaching.

READ MORE: Grove Academy requires improvement according to Ofsted

Since then it has been elevated to a “good” status, an improvement which principal Phillip Gray said he was “over the moon” about.

“It is an honour to be principal of the Grove Academy during this next phase of its development. The latest Ofsted grading is just confirmation of how far we have come in such a short time,” he said.

“I am so proud. Everyone works so incredibly hard and is so dedicated to every single child so it’s nice to get that external recognition.

“The journey to ‘good’ has been a long one but hopefully now we’re accelerating things on that journey to ‘outstanding’.”

At the latest Ofsted inspection in June, the school achieved a “good” rating in all categories except “outcome for pupils”, where it was told it needed to improve for the second time running.

Lead inspector Gulshan Kayembe said the school could not yet be considered “outstanding” – the highest possible Ofsted grading – because even though standards were “improving rapidly”, they were not yet consistently high, especially for boys in writing.

The report praised the improvements made since the 2014 inspection, citing good support from the trust as one of the reasons behind this.  

Nearly half of all pupils at the school come from minority ethnic backgrounds, a much higher proportion than most other schools, with many of them speaking English as a second language.

However this challenge was well met according to inspectors, who said children, especially those in the early years of education, were thriving “as a result of rich and vibrant experiences”.

Mr Gray added: “It reflects the multicultural nature of the community we serve.”