A NEW Middlesbrough school has been praised by Her Majesty's Inspectors for its strong start.

The King's Academy, in south Middlesbrough, was congratulated following a HMI interim visit before its full inspection in the next academic year.

Nigel McQuoid, principal of the academy, said: "The past 18 months have represented a huge challenge for everyone connected with The King's and all our parents, students and staff should be properly proud of the start we have made.

"We already have a school to be proud of and a student body ready to take up every opportunity to make the most of their education with us.

"Now we have to refocus our attention on how to make our curriculum and general approach to teaching work for our children's personal best."

Its first set of GCSE results last year, after opening in September 2003, showed an improvement of 13.4 per cent on the average for the two schools it replaced - Coulby Newham and Brackenhoe.