A BASINGSTOKE secondary school has received a glowing report from education watchdogs in its first inspection since converting to an academy.

Ofsted inspectors graded The Costello School as “good” in all areas following an inspection in May.

The school, in Crossborough Hill, converted to an academy in July 2012, and was able to become an independent academy because of its good performance.

Costello is currently being led by acting headteacher Nick Price, after former headteacher Julia Mortimore left in December, having spent 11 years at the school.

It has just been announced that Mr Price will take over the leadership of Everest Community Academy, in September, following the retirement of current principal Julie Rose. David Nicholson has been appointed as the new head of Costello, and will start in September.

The Ofsted report said of Mr Price: “The acting headteacher is a strong leader who has taken decisive and successful action to improve the school this year.”

It added: “Students feel highly appreciated as individuals. They behave consistently well and interact easily with one another.

Students say they feel safe, secure and happy in school.”

Costello is not considered as “outstanding” for various reasons, including because of the inconsistency in the quality of marking and because attendance for some groups of students is not “consistently high enough”.

Last year, Costello, which has 1,058 pupils, suffered a fall in its GCSE results, with 58 per cent of students gaining five GCSEs between A* and C, including English and maths, which was down from 70 per cent in 2012.

The report said: “The leadership team has acted quickly to improve the leadership in English following the drop in the 2013 GCSE pass rate, and school records show this has had a rapid impact in raising standards.”