TAUNTON Academy has been battling a reputation for years.

But recently stories told between parents on the playground have been about progress, positivity and great results.

Despite its “inadequate” Ofsted rating, leaders have been recognised in the school’s latest inspections for taking ‘effective action’ towards improving the school.

Somerset County Gazette:

TEAM: Headteacher Jenny Veal with her deputy heads John Eddy​ and Rob Berry

Headteacher Jenny Veal, who took up the position in January 2016, said: “I am lucky to have a impressive team behind me and wonderful staff. Equally, the students are fabulous and there is a large body of parents who are very supportive of the school. It’s clear that they share our goals.

“Our reputation is flourishing and I’m pleased to say that a record number of students joined the school in Year 7 in September. The overwhelming majority picked the Academy as their first choice and this, above all, gives me a real sense of achievement.”

Somerset County Gazette:

Somerset County Gazette:

Students with their reading awards. 

The dedicated headteacher says that one of the best bits of her job is watching the students succeed.

“Celebrating success is one of the nicest parts of my job,” she said.

“Watching students succeed and achieve, particularly when that achievement may not have come easily, is so rewarding and enjoyable.

“Our children are so talented and many work very hard to achieve their goals, it is wonderful to be able to acknowledge this in all manner of different ways, from quiet praise in the classroom and contact home.”

The school also has a ‘high performance academy’ which gives further opportunities for its more able students.

Somerset County Gazette:

As well as leaders within the staff, some students also step up to become role models for the rest of the school.

A team of prefects as well as ‘head girl and boy’ work to make their school a better place.

Head girl, Hannah King, said: “You write a letter to apply to be head boy or girl. I applied because I wanted to change the school for the better, I wanted to make sure the younger students had better lives because of the work we do.”