Delighted Havant Academy progress recognised by national award

Below is from my weekly column which is written for the Portsmouth News

Attending a good school changed the direction of my life and I know the difference a good school can make. So supporting local schools across the Havant constituency has been one of my top priorities as local MP. Last year I invited the Schools Minister Nick Gibb to Havant Academy, so he could see first-hand how a dedicated group of teachers and parents could come to together to transform a failing school.

As a result of the visit I organised, the Minister recommended Havant Academy for the Education Business Outstanding Progress in a Secondary School Award. I was delighted to find out recently that Havant Academy had beaten six other finalists to win the prize.

Havant Academy is thought to be the most improved state school in the country, going from facing closure in 2010 due to poor performance to now heading towards being recognised by Ofsted as Outstanding. Just in the last two years since I was first elected, I have seen the difference Havant Academy makes to its pupils and the wider community.

I know during the visit just how impressed the Minister was by standard of teaching and the plans the school had in place to continue to improve. The school is a shining example of the benefits that academisation can bring, and should be a blueprint for others around the country.

Congratulations to Principal Helen Cassady, all the governors, staff, parents and pupils on the fantastic achievement.

Last week I also helped open the Hayling Island Three Churches Fete for the third consecutive year. It was a great day and well done to organiser Steven Schrier and the team who worked hard to make it another successful event.

Nominations are still open for my Small Business Awards backed by the News. So, whether it is your favourite pub, charity, restaurant, hairdressers, shop or tradesperson visit for more information.

Save the date for my second Older Persons Information Fair on Friday 13 October at Hayling Community Centre.

Picture: Alan Mak MP with Schools Minister Nick Gibb at Havant Academy