A COLLEGE that was in special measures five years ago is celebrating after all of last year’s school-leavers went on to secure jobs, training or places in further education.

It is the first time that this has happened at Risedale Sports and Community College at Hipswell, Catterick Garrison.

The school was placed in special measures in 2008 when just 18 per cent of students got five GCSE grades at A* to C, and learning standards were at a consistently low level, with poor leadership being cited as one of the main problems.

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The school now has 55 per cent of pupils achieving A* to C grades, including English and maths - and last year’s school-leavers all secured places in further education, training or employment.

Mick Hill, executive head of the Northallerton College and Risedale Sports and Community College Federation, and Risedale’s associate principal John Kelly attributed the success to the efforts of staff and the support of students and parents.

Mr Kelly said: “We have managed to strengthen partnerships, both between Risedale and Northallerton College, and also among parents who now share an appreciation of the value of education and show their trust in us.

“They understand what we are about and why we push our students.

“It is not just about the school doing well, it is also vital that our students succeed when they have left us, which makes it especially pleasing to see every single one of them going on to further education, employment or training. We will continue to do our very best for all of our students.”

He said credit also had to go to Darlington College and its principal Tim Grant who had developed its Catterick Campus to cater for some of the most vulnerable young people in the area.

Risedale has a highly mobile student population – with 40 per cent of the students coming from Armed Forces families and 25 per cent arriving or leaving some time during their school days – so staff and students had to work hard to achieve the current level of success.

The college won high praise last year from official Ofsted inspectors for boosting the quality of education for its students.