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Uniform praise for new look at academy

Headboy and headgirl at South Shore Academy, formerly Palatine Sports College, Andrew Holdoway and Aisha Butt.

Headboy and headgirl at South Shore Academy, formerly Palatine Sports College, Andrew Holdoway and Aisha Butt.

Pupils at the newly converted South Shore Academy have given the new school look the thumbs up after their first week back.

Palatine High School converted to academy status at the beginning of this month, changing its name and logo and joining the Bright Futures Educational Trust (BFET).

South Shore Academy continues to be funded by the Department for Education but is no longer under the control of Blackpool Council, instead working with BFET, which funding is directed to the academy through.

The distinctive green uniform has been branded with the school’s badge this week, but school bosses say while the look has changed the school’s ethos remains the same.

Principal Chris Powell said: “We’re passionate about enhancing the life chances of all children in South Shore by engaging them through learning.

“Our commitment to the community is set in stone.”

And the school is now looking forward to a new building.

No date has been set for work to begin but school bosses have said the building, funded by the Department for Education and due to go on the school’s fields beind the current building, will be complete by 2017.

Head girl Aisha Butt, 15, said: “We understand the school is changing for the better. I’m really proud of the school.

“We look really smart in the new uniform, I think it looks fantastic.”

The school was visited by Ofsted inspectors in January 2013 who labelled it as “inadequate” and said it had “serious weaknesses”.

A monitoring inspection report after another visit in March found the school’s progress plan to be “fit for purpose”, but a second monitoring inspection visit in September found the school was “not making enough progress towards the removal of the serious weaknesses designation”.

In the summer of 2013 the school saw a boost to its scores for pupils leaving Year 11 with five GCSEs at A* to C, including English and maths, rising to 43 per cent, from 35 per cent in 2012.

And the school has seen visible results since starting to work with BFET at the beginning of this academic year, with attendance figures rising to 93.2 per cent.

Mr Powell added: “We gained record results in 2013 and the projections are to comfortably top that using different teaching and learning strategies.”

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