NORTH HUDDERSFIELD TRUST school is reaping the rewards of links with the community – after just over a year on the site.

The school, which opened on the site of the former Fartown High School last September, has already established adult education courses, activities for younger children, and its own community forum.

And the facilities at the Woodhouse Hall Road site are also being used regularly by four different community groups.

The adult education courses which run during the school day include jewellery making, parenting skills, adult literacy and classroom support assistant training.

The school’s swimming people has also been opened up to the public and a women’s swimming session introduced.

But some of the best successes which are highlighted in the school’s first annual report, are in the classroom where pupil attendance has gone up more than a third.

Students attending the old Fartown High School failed to attend 172 days across the academic year compared to 113 days missed at the new school – a 34% increase.

The best attendance was recorded at the new school in the summer 2012 term where only 20 pupil absences were recorded and an increase of 42 per cent on the previous site.

A 30% drop in late arrivals was also recorded.

The man at the helm of this remarkable turnaround is executive headteacher Dr Andy Williams, who is also in charge at Holmfirth High School.

The school has introduced a new behavioural policy and integrated electronic recording of incidents by all staff.

The visible signs of change started last September when 380 pupils were given their smart new black and purple uniforms – which are now worn with a great deal of pride.

Students have also benefited from a ‘counselling’ type drop-in service at lunchtimes with the launch of the EARS initiative.

Meanwhile the report highlights the launch of the North Huddersfield Learning Community partnership.

The aim is by sharing resources and expertise, the schools can offer better opportunities for children, parents and staff.

In addition to the secondary school, the other six partners are Ashbrow, Birkby Infants and Nursery, Birkby Juniors, Christ Church Academy, Fixby Junior and Infants and St Thomas’ Primary schools.

To complement the work of the Learning Partnership a Community Forum and Parents Forum have been established.

As a result a smaller steering group the forum has been established which has identified poverty as an area of focus.

A summary of the report reads: “We are on track to become an outstanding school within our first five years of operation.

“And the report of our first year makes for a pleasing synopsis of the results of the hard work of all of our staff, pupils and the fantastic support of stakeholders.”

Further work has been done to broaden the range of extra-curricular activities with students encouraged to pursue more sporting activities, arts and drama and the Duke of Edinburgh scheme.

For more information or to see the school’s report in full go to