STUDENTS, staff and governors have celebrated the transformation of their academy which has been catapulted to the top ten per cent of schools in the country.

Darlington School of Mathematics and Science staged its annual awards night with record results and its best ever performing year group.

Almost 100 parents and 45 former students joined Darlington Mayor Paul Baldwin at the Eggleston View school for a night of entertainment and celebration as students were rewarded for their efforts.

They also won high praise from former premiership footballer and current manager of Darlington FC Martin Gray.

Chairman of governors Dr David Hall told the audience: “We are here to celebrate the most successful year this school has ever known.

“These results have not happened by accident, they have been achieved by young people supported by a dedicated group of staff working in very difficult circumstances, as the school has often been a construction site.”

Students collected awards ranging from maths, English and science to ICT, foreign languages and music.

There were also cups and trophies for outstanding achievement, dedication, progress, perseverance, personal achievement, determination and resilience, contribution and excellence.

An inspirational talk by ex-footballer Martin Gray, who now works closely with the school with his footballing academy, capped off the proceedings.

The former Sunderland player, now manager of Darlington, spoke of how he had left school with few qualifications but with a determination to succeed.

“Things don’t always work out but I am immensely proud of where we have got to and it is just the start,” he said.

“My experience of DSMS is that it has come a long way and the differences I have seen in the past six months have been immense.”