Darwen Aldridge Community Academy has joined an elite group nationwide after being invited to take part in the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust Leading Edge programme.
Leading Edge is a national network for high-performing schools and there are only 300 such establishments across the country. Membership is by invitation only and, after the improvements of recent years, DACA was told it met all of the eligibility criteria.
Academy Principal Brendan Loughran said he hoped the opportunities arising from joining the Leading Edge group of schools would be of benefit to the academy, its stu-dents and to other local schools.
“Becoming a Leading Edge school will give the Academy access to learn from the best schools in the country. In addition, we will share our practice and experience of school improvement with the network and with other partner schools.”
To be eligible, schools must have an Ofsted rating of good or outstanding, plus the ability to demonstrate one or more of a series of criteria.
These include excellent rates of progress from primary school SAT results to GCSE performance, exam performance that exceeds the national average for schools in a similar context, outstanding exam performance in the sixth form and the capacity and willingness to network with other Leading Edge schools and showcase best practice.