PEDAL power is being used by new school principal Andrew Ross to encourage regular attendance by pupils.

Mr Ross joined Rudheath Primary Academy in September, and has won praise for his approach to engaging pupils.

The principal and his team have been innovative in engaging pupils and offering them incentives, using strategies and rewards to encourage good attendance.

A bike, permanently on display in the hall, which could be won by a pupil with excellent attendance, is a successful incentive for pupils to attend school regularly.

An Ofsted inspection team visited the school last month, and classed it as ‘good and rapidly improving’.

In their report inspectors said: “The school is good and rapidly improving because of the strong leadership of the principal and support by the Focus Academy Trust.”

The report said Mr Ross had been very well received and parents were very positive about the school, with one stating – “the new head teacher has made a real difference to the school.”

Chairman of governors Bob Richmond said: “The governors are delighted the inspectors recognised the accelerated improvement in the school. We’re very pleased this improvement has continued through a change in principal.”

"Mr Ross has shown great skill in identifying and retaining those things being done well and making carefully-selected changes and improvements. The governors are particularly pleased with the development of communication and engagement with parents.”

Mr Ross said: “We’re all very pleased with the report. It gives credit to staff, governors, parents and pupils for all their hard work before I joined the school and after.

“Rudheath was well on its way to becoming a ‘good’ school when I joined. I’ve helped put the final pieces in place and will be working hard to take the school towards ‘outstanding’.”

Inspectors praised the depth and range of activities used to increase pupils’ understanding of the world. Pupils played Second World War intelligence officers and used their mathematical skills to work out who would win the Battle of Britain.

The inspectors also praised the close relationship the school has with parents and how staff keep parents well informed.