Homleigh Park and Gloucester Academy had their best ever exam results in 2022 and Homleigh Park is now rated ‘good’ by Ofsted for the first time in a generation.

Homleigh Park’s 2022 results were in many cases four times better than 2019 while Gloucester Academy pupils scored on average over 1.4 grades better in every exam than 2019.

In 2022, Homleigh Park was the 10th most improved school in the country and Gloucester Academy the 11th most improved.

There is further to go: but my commitment to results, reputation and opportunities has been delivered by Greenshaw Learning Trust which has run both schools with a rigorous approach to discipline and results. They have had my full support, and the numbers of pupils applying to join both schools have as a result risen sharply.

It is worth remembering that academies, academy trusts, the teaching of phonetics and the changes we made at both schools were opposed throughout the last 14 years by Labour Councillors, parliamentary candidates and unions.

I remember vividly that Labour governors at Beaufort insisted on a link to the Co-op which sadly proved a failure. Labour activists protested against Michael Gove when he visited Gloucester Academy in 2013.

They have been proved spectacularly wrong in an approach which let down pupils and parents alike as the Bishop’s College (predecessor to Gloucester Academy) results in 2009 – second worst in the country – demonstrated beyond doubt.

Their estimated ‘value added’ rating in 2022 would put them in the top half of schools nationally.

In 2022, I held an Opportunities Fair at Gloucester Academy for both Gloucester Academy and Homleigh Park pupils as an opportunity to get pupils thinking about different post-16 options and more diverse career choices. Employers were impressed by the quality of talent they met, and I am not surprised that in 2023, every Homleigh Park A-Level pupil left for good apprenticeships or university.