These girls can! Merton high school scoops £5,000 prize for being one of most improved in England

A Merton girls’ school has won £5,000 government prize for being one of the most improved schools in the country.

Ricards Lodge secondary school was recognised by the Department for Education for high attainment and progress made by disadvantaged pupils aged 14-16.

The school ranks in the top 90 schools in England showing sustained improvement in pupils achieving A*-C grade GCSEs, including English and maths.

Headteacher Mrs Jerrard said: “We’re extremely proud of the pupils and staff that have helped us to get this award.

“It was a great boost to receive the news from Rt Hon David Laws MP and earn that recognition.

“The staff are really pleased, we don’t always receive the praise as teachers but it’s nice to receive recognition because we come to work to make a difference.”

letter Ricards Lodge

The award was issued on the basis on exam results and Mrs Jerrard was keen to highlight the improvement of the school and hard work of its pupils and teachers.

“Last year, a lot of school’s exam results went down, but we’ve had a sustained improvement over a significant period of time and an upward trend for the past 10 years,” she explained.

“It’s down to the attitude of the students, the hard work of the staff, the support we get from our parents and ensuring pupils feel encouraged and working in that really positive, all female environment.”

The school has also been invited to apply for larger prizes of up to £250,000 – final prizes will be awarded at a ceremony hosted by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg in March.

Mrs Jerrard added: “Moving forward it’s important to support the pupils and staff, manage the changes involving GCSEs and the grading systems and build on our unique status as an all-girls school.”

In addition to Ricards Lodge’s success, four Merton primary schools – Cranmer and St Mark’s Primary Schools in Mitcham, St Teresa’s Catholic Primary School in Morden and West Wimbledon Primary School – have been congratulated by the DfE on the progess made by their disadvantaged pupils aged 7-11.

Merton Council cabinet member for education Councillor Martin Whelton, said: “This is wonderful news and further testament to the continued hard work and commitment from our teaching staff, pupils and their families who support the children through school.

“I am proud of all our Merton schools and commend the work of Ricards Lodge and the three primary schools in leading the way.”

Picture courtesy of Cabinet Office, with thanks

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