ALMOST every week, somewhere in East Lancashire we seem to read of a secondary school being named as "failing" or in need of improvement because OFSTED inspectors have highlighted deteriorating standards.

How refreshing, then, to learn about the turnaround of one school which has been in the doldrums for some years.

First, as Shadsworth, then Queen's Park High School and finally Queen's Park Technology College, it went steadily downhill until it was branded one of the country's worst in terms ot results and pupil behaviour.

Now in three short years since "superhead" Lee Harris took over, the place now known as Blakewater College has seen a remarkable transformation.

In 2004, just 11 per cent of students gained five or more good GCSEs. Last year the figure was 68 per cent and the school was in the top one per cent nationally for student progress.

Mr Harris puts it down to a closely-monitored tracking system following pupils' progress and giving youngsters a voice in the running of their school.

All at Blakewater should be applauded for producing an atmosphere of pride, confidence and, crucially, success.