AIREVILLE School is making "reasonable progress" towards the removal of government special measures.

In its third Ofsted inspection since being deemed inadequate in almost all areas in May last year, the Skipton school is praised for working "swiftly and determinedly to improve the quality and robustness of its performance".

Acting headteacher Helen Woodcock, deputy head at South Craven School, is singled out for her "outstanding and courageous leadership".

The number of students excluded is the lowest in four years, their behaviour has improved and there is a move towards higher expectations and aspirations.

"Communications with students and parents have noticeably improved, helping them to understand the steps that are being taken to bring about positive change and improvement," says Ofsted inspector Wendy Ripley in her report.

"Throughout the school, students have an increased understanding and awareness of their individual targets and current grades and report that this is motivating them to achieve."

It is a marked improvement from the last inspection in February when the school - which has about 460 on its roll - was said to have been not making enough progress.

Ms Woodcock, who has introduced a system of regular monitoring sessions with students and their parents, said: "Without the hard work, trust and critical friendship of all those who make up the Aireville School community, we would not have been able to secure the culture of higher expectations and aspirations that the inspector commented on in the report."

In September, Aireville will become an academy with a new name, new uniform and new image.

Ms Woodcock will leave at the end of the summer term to become head at Rossett School, Harrogate, and Wendy Hamilton, currently head of the Queen Eleanor School in Lincolnshire, also an academy, will become Skipton Academy's first ever principal.

Ms Hamilton, similarly praised by Ofsted inspectors at her current school for her leadership qualities, is currently spending two days a week at Aireville preparing herself for the start of the new school year.

Antony Booth, chairman of governors, said he was very pleased with the latest Ofsted.

"It shows remarkable improvement in the four-month period between inspections," he said.

"We can confidently say there is a firm base from which the school can continue to progress and improve.

"Our local solution is providing the right kind of support to ensure the new academy opens with a bright future ahead."

Once it becomes an academy, Aireville will automatically be taken out of special measures. It will come out of the control of North Yorkshire County Council and be supported by the newly formed Craven Educational Trust.

A council spokesman said: "The extremely positive HMI monitoring letter highlights the considerable work undertaken at the school, in partnership with South Craven School and the local authority over the last few months.

"The HMI found clear evidence of improvement in many areas, including student achievement, the quality of teaching, behaviour and leadership and management."