A struggling academy has appointed a new headteacher who has said she is determined to drag it up from an “inadequate” Ofsted rating to an “outstanding” one.

Twickenham Academy was given the lowest grade Ofsted can award in May 2016, but was recently praised by the Department for Education for making improvements since it was placed in the control of the newly-formed Richmond West School Trust (RWST) in November.

Assal Ruse, who had been leading the school on an interim basis since May’s Ofsted report, had her position made permanent this week.

She is a former deputy headteacher at nearby Waldegrave School, which is also part of the RWST.

Ms Ruse said the school has been transformed by focusing on improving behaviour and teaching and learning.

She said: "When I said I thought this school could be outstanding many thought I was being overly ambitious but I am now even more convinced it is achievable.

“This is a school unrecognisable to the one I arrived at back in May. Year 11 students are coming in before and after school, and during half term to improve their grades.

“Pupils need guidance and discipline, and we finally have that at this school.

"Waldegrave School was voted the best comprehensive school in the country this year yet two miles away you have a school that doesn't performs as it should.

"That is not acceptable as far I was concerned. The community, parents and pupils deserve better. That is the main principle of this new multi-academy trust.”

Councillor Paul Hodgins, who is Richmond Council’s cabinet member for schools, said he was encouraged the RWST is taking “positive steps” to strengthen the leadership of the school.

Cllr Hodgins said: “I am confident in the school’s leadership and I think that’s reflected in the last report it received from the regional schools commissioner.”