A SECONDARY school which came under fire from Government inspectors last year has made “some important progress”.

Education Scotland visited Knox Academy in Haddington at the end of 2016 and told parents that the school needed to “revisit” its “vision and values”.

The inspection report, which was released in March last year, highlighted a number of areas in which the school could improve. ‘Leadership of change’ and ‘learning, teaching and assessment’ were ranked as ‘satisfactory’, while ‘ensuring wellbeing, equality and inclusion’ was described as ‘weak’.

Inspectors returned to the school 12 months on from the original report for a follow-up inspection, which led to a new report being published on Tuesday.

The inspection team talked to young people at the school and worked closely with the interim headteacher Lauren Rodger, who is returning to North Berwick High School after the summer holidays.

She will be replaced by Susan Cook, currently acting headteacher at Trinity Academy, Edinburgh

Other members of staff were also spoken to, to hear about the steps the school had taken to improve on areas previously identified in the original inspection.

Education Scotland noted the following key improvements:

- The interim headteacher has provided effective leadership in taking forward work to secure improvements, including a review of the school values;

- Staff have developed a range of policies to improve practice in equalities and inclusion, including a new safeguarding policy;

- The recently created Pupil Support Faculty is now better placed to address the needs of young people, and those with social, emotional and behavioural needs in particular;

- The school has made progress in establishing a more positive learning environment for all.

The report did note that there were still some improvements to be made.

Issues highlighted included using evidence from self-evaluation activities to ensure consistency in learning and teaching across the school; reviewing the purpose of the pupil support base to ensure there was a greater focus on learning for the young people using it; and ensuring there was a whole school approach to equalities and inclusion.

Fiona Robertson, head of education at East Lothian Council, praised staff at the school for their efforts.

She said: “I am pleased that Education Scotland acknowledges that Knox Academy has made important progress since the last inspection, and I would like to thank all the staff and pupils for their hard work and commitment in making these improvements.

“It is really encouraging that the positive relationships between pupils and teachers, and the fact that almost all young people recognise the value of learning in their lives, was noted.

“This is a strong basis for ensuring that the school continues to be a positive learning environment for staff and pupils alike.”

And she added: “We will continue to work with the school and Education Scotland to make further improvements, and to working with Susan Cook, our new headteacher, who joins the school in August.”

Education Scotland will continue to work with East Lothian Council regarding the school’s capacity to improve and will return to carry out another inspection within 18 months.