STAFF, students and governors celebrated Hanley Castle High School’s official opening as an academy on Friday (September 23).

The event was attended by local MP Harriett Baldwin, who headteacher Lindsey Cooke introduced as “a great friend of the school”.

She helped cut a celebratory cake and unveiled a plaque formally marking the occasion.

Mrs Baldwin said: “Hanley Castle has been a successful school for hundreds of years and I am delighted to be able to mark its transformation into an academy. I feel enormous pride whenever I visit the school and it is clear that the staff and governors are doing an amazing job.”

She added: “The pupils achieved record results last year and the school going from strength to strength. I hope the new freedoms and autonomy that this permits will help the school deliver even more for pupils.”

Mrs Cooke praised the hard work of everyone involved in the project to convert to academy trust status - including staff, governors, parents and students, as well as Mrs Baldwin herself.

“The road to academy status has been a long and sometimes challenging one,” she said. “We are a strong school and a successful one, and we believe that academy status will allow us to build on that, to move forward and to rise to new heights.”