Longsands Academy in St Neots has been rated ‘good’ by inspectors, who praised its “relentless focus” on improving the quality of teaching.

After a visit from Ofsted on October 2 and 3, they judged the school to be 'good' across all categories - leadership and management, the behaviour and safety of pupils, the quality of teaching, the achievement of pupils, and its sixth form provision. At the last inspection in 2009, they were also rated 'good'.

Lead inspector Glynis Bradley-Peat and her team of four said that students make “outstanding” progress in English and good progress in maths. They also highlighted their performance in physics, history, economics and graphics. The sixth form was described as good, with a wide range of courses that ensure that all students go on to further education, employment, or training. They noted that attendance was above average and students were punctual.

The report states: “The academy is improving because leaders have a relentless focus on improving the quality of teaching.

“Students are well-behaved and take a pride in their academy. Their attitudes to learning are positive and they show respect to their teachers.

“The curriculum promotes students' good spiritual, moral, social and cultural development and ensures that they are well-equipped for life in modern Britain.”

However, the inspectors said it was not yet an 'outstanding' school because the most-able students do not consistently get the highest grades in some subjects because they are not challenged enough. In addition, they noted that there are occasions when teachers do not prepare work to the right level of difficulty for students of different abilities and do not adjust their teaching when work is too easy or too hard. Standards and rates of progress were deemed to not be high enough in science, French, German and ICT, plus initiatives have yet to have a full impact on improving the literacy skills of some students.

Rick Carroll, headteacher, said: “We have made many significant changes and introduced new initiatives over the last 12-18 months. I am delighted for all of the staff, students and parents that Ofsted made reference to the rapid and sustained progress that we have made during this period of time.

“I am proud of all that the staff and students have achieved at Longsands thus far. Longsands is a highly effective academy and we continue to be committed to our aim which is to ensure the best possible outcomes for all of the learners that we have responsibility for.”