• Abbey College, Abbey Road, Hollow Lane, Ramsey Cambridgeshire PE26 1DG

Abbey College is celebrating after being awarded the Basic Skills Quality Mark, which commends continuous improvement in literacy and numeracy.

The Secondary Quality Mark provides a framework for self-evaluation and continuous improvement of the basic skills of all students in a school no matter their ability. This includes challenging all students, from those whose attainment is lower than would be expected from someone of their age to the most able students.

In order to achieve the award, schools have to prove there is a whole school commitment to improving basic skills and that the performance of learners in basic skills is improving. In a feedback report given to the College, the Quality Mark assessor said: “The College has been led from strength to strength in a tireless effort to ensure the best possible learning opportunities for students of all abilities, in all year groups.”

The assessor also praised the College’s “inclusive ethos” and said that a “highly collaborative approach to meeting the needs of vulnerable groups and individuals, is evident in planning and resourcing.” The assessor noted that “parents are valued as a part of this process and effective strategies are in place to encourage collaboration and parental engagement, wherever possible.”

Andy Christoforou, headteacher, said: “It is fantastic to have the hard work of our staff and the quality of our teaching recognised and celebrated. I am very proud of the efforts of our staff and of our united drive to provide an excellent education and the best opportunities for the children in our community.”

Basic skills are defined as the ability to read, write and speak English, and to use mathematics at a level necessary to function and progress at work and in society in general. Without good communication, literacy and mathematical skills, individuals are severely disadvantaged throughout their lives – as learners, in the workplace and as parents, consumers and citizens.

The award follows a highly successful set of summer results at the College with 70 per cent of students at the College achieving the top 4-9 grades (the equivalent of the old A*-C) in both English and Maths. In the Sixth Form, highest results remained strong, with 30 per cent of students receiving A* or A grades and 47 per cent achieving A* to B grades.

For more information, please visit the Basic Skills Quality Mark website.