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A HEADTEACHER bought in to turn a failing school around says it is now "vibrant and very much part of the community".

Nightingale Academy, in Turin Road, Edmonton, was told it required improvement by Ofsted in June 2014.

But after a second visit in December, inspectors said effective action is being taken to move the school towards a 'good' grading'.

But headteacher Ann Palmer has her sights set on something much higher and hopes it will one day be rated 'outstanding'.

She said: "This is quite a unique school, very vibrant and very much part of the community but it has been on a long journey to improve in terms of a fairly difficult past.

"In the time I have been here, we have had a number of monitoring visits which have all recognised the immediate impact of the work we are doing and the progress we are making.

"It will be an outstanding school. What it was a year ago is not what it is now."

Results were historically poor, student numbers low, behaviour a concern and relations with the community a struggle.

Meanwhile, 75 per cent of students are without English as their first language and some enter with low literacy levels.

But after appointing three new members of staff on the senior leadership team, a new special educational needs co-ordinator, a new sixth form leader, refreshed sixth form programmes and a "passionate" governing body, the school has managed to turn itself around.

A survey also found that 100 per cent of Year 7 parents are happy with their choice of school and said their children are happy to be at Nightingale.

Students would often wonder around the corridors during lesson time but now all are keen to attend their classes - and mobile phones are no longer visible as pupils are aware they could be confiscated.

The launch of the Brilliant Club for the most able students has seen them visit Oxbridge universities for the first time. Meanwhile, while the school rarely organsied school trips, the diary is now brimming with events from the London Dungeon and the National Portrait Gallery to the British Museum and Go Karting.

As part of the Edmonton Schools Partnership programme, the school also recently held a healthy eating week for students and parents and a Diversity in Edmonton project which will see art displayed in the library, as well as commissioning an artist to decorate the stairways.

The timetable was changed to a more rigorous curriculum and the sixth form is now a success, with trends over the last three years showing A-level results in the top 25 per cent of UK schools.

Last summer, every Year 6 pupil in the borough - more than 2,000 children - were invited to Nightingale during a two-week transition event and this year saw first choice applications leap.

Ms Palmer, who has previously trained other principals, worked for the Department for Education and on government steering groups to raise achievement, said: “My priorities have been putting in some really robust systems, making sure leadership at all levels is excellent, ensuring learning is both challenging and fun and getting the best quality teachers employed. Behaviour is now good and students respect their environment and have belief in themselves.”

“We don’t have the beauty of time; change has had to happen quickly as the education of the children already in our care is important now.”