A SECONDARY school which has been transformed in the last decade has earned an education watchdog’s highest accreditation.

Sedgefield Community College was in 2009 perceived by the local authority as a “concern” but has this week been praised for its outstanding rating by Ofsted.

The school was ranked outstanding across the board by inspectors who visited the site in March.

Headteacher David Davies, who joined the school in 2009, said: “I’m so proud of the students and the staff. Our school is defined by our belief that anything is possible.

“We are very determined that students do not achieve well but that they are exceptional - we want them to achieve the highest possible standards.”

The school was last month officially opened by HRH The Duke of Gloucester who was given a tour of the £17.1million site.

Inspectors remarked on the beautifully maintained site, designed to provide a positive, safe, calm and relaxed environment.

Senior leaders were praised for their high levels of ambition and relentless determination to address any weaknesses in the school’s performance. In terms of results, the most able pupils at Sedgefield have made significantly better progress than seen nationally across most subjects and the proportion of pupils attaining top GCSE grades is well above the national average in both English and mathematics.

Pupils who have special educational needs and or disabilities were found made similar outstanding progress to their peers in the school.

Inspectors also remarked that excellent support was provided for pupils who enter the school with lower levels of attainment.

Caroline O’Neill, Durham County Council’s head of education, said: “Very few secondary sector schools are judged outstanding, in all aspects, under the new and more rigorous measures of success. It reflects the commitment and dedication of governors, school leaders and all staff.”