ROYAL WOOTTON Bassett Academy is one of the best schools in the south west according to a prestigious league table.

Each year The Sunday Times newspaper publishes a list of the top 20 schools in each region with the worlds of state and independent education battling it out for a place.

The highly-respected list, which is now in its 25th edition, aims to help parents picking their child’s next school by identifying the 2,000 highest-achieving schools in the UK.

To their surprise, RWBA came out in 19th place out of 20 for the south west – flying the flag for Swindon and Wiltshire.

Headteacher of RWBA George Croxford said he was thrilled by the news.

He said: “We are a proper comprehensive school with a fully comprehensive intake. To get that recognition when you look at the list which is full of grammar schools, well, we are absolutely delighted.

“We have not been in the list before but we knew we were high up in Wiltshire as we came out in fourth with our GCSE results.

“Our A Level and BTEC results are always good and we are thrilled to bits by this because it is a reflection on the masses of hard work by staff and students and it is a fabulous reward for them.

“A huge part of our work is that we want to get the results but we value building up the person as well. You can’t do one without another and we need the results to open up the doors for students but also the person we have helped create to get the job or university place.

“Both sides are absolutely essential and it is fantastic to have the recognition on the results side.”

RWBA is already considered to be one of the county’s leading schools as in 2013 it became the first school in the UK to be rated ‘outstanding’ in two consecutive Ofsted reports.

Despite new grading changes being brought in this year, which saw maths and English A Levels changed from A*-U to numbers 9-1, the school has still managed to achieve high attainment rates among its pupils – something that Mr Croxford believes is testament to the work of staff and students.

“This year’s results set were probably the only set we’ve ever been worried for,” he said.

“Normally we would say we are expecting to get X per cent but despite the unbelievable amount of work put into the maths and English grade shift, we didn’t know where the grade boundaries were.

“There was such a high level of uncertainty but we proved that whatever we were doing was on the right track.

“This league table news is also great for the Royal Wootton Bassett Academy Trust as well because it shows that one of our schools can achieve this and we can share this same practice with Lawn Manor Academy.

“We have been picking up lots of things from them as well and it is sharing from both sides so we can move them forward and develop the trust to invite more schools to join.”