A SECONDARY school in Feltham is undergoing a huge time of change including a new name and uniform.
Head teacher of Longford Community School on Tachbrook Road, Paula Kenning, has announced the new name of the school as well as a raft of changes in a bid to make the school 'outstanding' in three year's time.
This summer, the school prepares to turn into an academy, meaning it will separate itself from the local authority in terms of funding, becoming its own legal entity and receiving funding directly from Central Government.
As from September this year, the school will be known as Rivers Academy West London, and pupils will be wearing a brand new black uniform with blazers.
Mrs Kenning, who arrived less than a year ago, says she has big aspirations for the school, hoping to make it "one of the best schools in the country".
A 2009 Ofsted inspect found the school to be 'good with outstanding features', Mrs Kenning hopes to bring it to 'outstanding' across the board at the next inspection.
Speaking to The Chronicle this week, she said: "I like to aim very high, and I want to instil that in everyone here. There is a huge amount of change here, and the pupils are very excited about it all."
Mrs Kenning said she was also hoping for the school's best exam results yet this summer.
Last year's GCSE results were the best on record for Longford Community School, with 63 per cent of pupils attaining A* to C grades. She is also pushing for a larger number of pupils leaving the sixth form to go to university, further education or skilled employment.
Last week, The Chronicle reported criticisms about the school's new policy to stop youngsters signing each other's shirts as a leaving memento. Mrs Kenning said this is one of several new rules and expectations designed to draw more attention to learning and revision. Mobile phones have also been banned.
As well as ditching the old navy uniform, sixth form students will be wearing workplace style suits. In addition to this, pupils in Year 9 will start preparing for their GCSE exams a year early as opposed to the usual year 10 start, and the same will happen in the sixth form.
Mrs Kenning said: "I want to encourage the pupils to be proud instead of embarrassed of their successes, we will hold achievement evenings, and we are ensuring that each pupil is mentored closely with tutor groups to exceed no more than 14 students in each group to allow for one to one academic mentoring.
"It is a very exciting time."
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