AN education centre for pupils not in mainstream schooling, which was placed in special measures last year, is making satisfactory progress.

An Ofsted inspector reported the Phoenix Centre Pupil Referral Unit, in Darlington, has made satisfactory progress since its last monitoring inspection and since being put into special measures.

Inspector Andrew Johnson visited the school earlier this month to carry out a second monitoring inspection.

It followed an earlier inspection, carried out last year, which described progress as inadequate.

An inspection report last January, when the centre was placed in special measures, identified three main areas for improvement.

The latest inspection outlined areas where the Phoenix Centre had improved.

Satisfactory progress had been made to improve the school's effectiveness by implementing a new system of self-evaluation for the head teacher and other senior figures. The same description was used for priorities related to students' well being and safety records.

It added, there had been inadequate progress on a new strategy to improve behaviour and reward positive behaviour.

Mr Johnson identified three new areas for further improvement, which would improve long-term objectives for students in key stage three, work with the local authority to develop an effective strategic plan and improve behaviour.