PARKSIDE Academy in Willington has become toe first in County Durham to joined an elite group of schools awarded the World Class Schools Quality Mark.

Already rated outstanding by Ofsted, Parkside went through a rigorous application process to gain the status. Pupils made a detailed audit and video about the school and worked with students from other schools on a project based on re-modelling a college space with furniture and layout solutions, a risk assessment, budget, presentation and video.

Miranda Perry, director of the WCSQM, was 'extraordinarily impressed' by how they represented Parkside, which was praised last week at Cambridge University.

Headteacher Kelvin Simpson said: "The achievement of this prestigious award is testament to the skills and dedication of the staff who have created an aspirational culture where the students believe in their abilities and are proud to strive towards the highest of academic outcomes."