THE HIGH Sheriff of Essex, Christopher Palmer-Tomkinson, received a warm welcome to The Ockendon Academy and Studio School when he joined us for a fact finding visit last Tuesday (15th January).
He was suitably impressed at the turnaround of the school at the site over the last decade that has seen improvements to the building infrastructure as well as to its attendance and exam result success.*
The Principal Mrs King shared with the High Sheriff how this had been achieved and the aspirations of the Academy and its newly formed Studio School to continue raising the achievements of our students but also to inspire aspirations for higher education through the provision of the Studio School and Sixth Form.
Mr Palmer-Tomkinson was himself inspired by the improvements particularly at Mrs Kings determination to continue taking the Academy to new heights with the new Sixth form provision opening in September 2013 in a new £1.7m Studio School building and students on roll passing the 1000 mark.
The High Sheriff commented, “It was a memorable occasion to see at first hand the effect that thoughtful educational leadership can have on young minds. The Ockendon Academy has turned into a very polished seat of learning; the good design especially the planned Studio School with lots of light and the touching connection to creation with plants and animals at the Academy are to be congratulated.”
*The Ockendon Academy has seen the students nearly double from 1999 figures of 560 to 2012 figure of 924 whilst success in exam results has risen in this period from only 11% achieving 5 or more GCSEs grades A* to C to 100%.