AFTER a year which has seen a major fire and relocation to a new site, staff and pupils at a York school now have something to celebrate following a glowing report from Government inspectors.

York High School, in Acomb, has been praised in its first Ofsted inspection for its “effective leadership and management and evidence of the rapid improvement since the relatively recent opening of the school.”

The inspection team gave the school an official rating of “good” – one below the best grade possible.

York High, which was formed following the merger of Lowfield and Oaklands Schools, moved to a £10 million purpose-built site in Cornlands Road earlier this year. Jubilant head teacher, David Ellis said: “This is a remarkable achievement for everyone associated with our school, particularly given that in the last eight months we have had a catastrophic fire and moved the whole school to a new site.

“The Ofsted findings demonstrate that in the midst of all of this, the school has managed to remain focused on the most important issue of teaching and learning.”

Students at York High “enjoy school and a genuine climate for learning is being established,” according to the report, which also described the school as “strongly inclusive”, with “a good understanding of the nature and needs of its local community.”

It went on: “The support for students at risk of underachieving, or needing additional support, is both sensitive and very effective.”

Mr Ellis acknowledged that there was still work to be done and the report pointed out the school’s need to improve literacy and involve pupils further in developing their learning.

In 2003, the old Oaklands School was identified by inspectors as having serious areas for concern following poor GCSE results and the attitudes, behaviour and attendance of a significant minority of pupils.

However, under the leadership of Mr Ellis, the new merged school represents a huge success for the hard work of staff and pupils. “I am immensely proud of the young people at our school and everyone who has worked so hard in the last two years,” said Mr Ellis.

“This report is a tremendous stamp of approval for the work we have been doing. The report correctly highlights the continued priority for us to improve literacy and involve pupils further in developing their learning.

“These are issues that the school has already begun to address and we will continue to tackle them with the same enthusiasm and determination that we have met all other challenges.”