AN Academy in High Wycombe is celebrating an educational success after earning a prestigious quality mark for progression in English and Maths.

Highcrest Academy, in Hatters Lane, has notched up its fourth successive accreditation in the Basic Skills Quality Mark scheme - and believes it is the only secondary school in Bucks to achieve this so many times.

Assistant Headteacher Emma Bowden explained: "This award involves the school being assessed every three years. There are ten key standards you have to show progression in each time you are accredited so you just can’t stand still. This the equivalent of 12 years of supporting and raising standards in basic skills, English and Maths."

Two assessors came down for the day from 8am until 2pm earlier this year to monitor standards across the entire school.

Mrs Bowden added: "Staff, school, governors, parents and students are all involved. The assessors see lessons, they get a tour of the school and they talk to different groups of students. The Quality Mark is based on the progression especially for students in Maths and English and the support given in raising their targets and aspirations."

The Quality Mark’s criteria says: "A school or setting must demonstrate a whole school approach to improving standards in literacy and numeracy, with evidence of the impact of its approaches."

The accolade follows two other recent notable successes in educational schemes. As previously reported, the academy has just been upgraded to a national Flagship School for inclusion. Highcrest is just the 12th secondary school in the UK to achieve flagship status under the Inclusion Quality Mark scheme.

And Highcrest was praised last month for its standards of teacher training after an assessment under the Oxon-Bucks School-Centred Initial Teacher Training (SCITT) scheme. The SCITT, which is backed by the Department for Education, said the academy is one of its lead schools in terms of teacher training.

Principal Shena Moynihan said: "Highcrest has enjoyed a fantastic end to the academic year. There has been a lot of great work done by staff, students and governors. We are very proud of all of our recent successes."