Two failing secondary schools have been praised by the Department for Education (DfE) for improving since being taken over by a new trust in November.

After being rated “requires improvement” and “inadequate”, respectively, in recent Ofsted reports, Hampton High and Twickenham Academy were put under the control of nearby Waldegrave and Teddington schools in November.

The four form the new Richmond West School Trust (RWST).

The report by regional schools commissioner, Dominic Herrington, praised the “very passionate” leadership of new Twickenham Academy headteacher Assal Ruse, formerly a Waldegrave deputy head.

He wrote: “The school is being led by a very passionate leader who understands and knows what outstanding looks like, and is committed to getting the best outcome for pupils.

“The pace of change has had an evident impact; students can articulate the academy is a better place to be. There is a sense of calm and purpose for in the Academy for the first time in years.”

At Hampton High, there is a “relentless focus” on teaching and learning with a strong emphasis on improving GCSE results, Mr Herrington said.

He wrote: “Students are pleased that teachers give them support, guidance and encouragement.

“There was a real sense of students owning their learning in preparation for GCSEs.”

The two schools had previously been run by the Learning Schools Trust (LST), which subscribed to a “Swedish-style” model of running free schools.

After achieving poor exam results and Ofsted reports, LST announced in the last academic year it would be seeking “alternative governance arrangements” for Hampton High and Twickenham Academy.

Bad student behaviour, poor performance in core subjects and weak leadership were three areas for improvement at Twickenham Academy RWST indentified after the school’s May 2016 Ofsted inspection.

Richmond council's member for children's services, Councillor Paul Hodgins said: "This is hugely encouraging. We know that Department for Education does not give out faint praise these days. So when they recognise change, it is meaningful.

“But it’s just a start – there is a long way to go. But it’s a good start.”

In a joint statement RWST and the two schools said: “It is excellent that progress towards this has been recognised by the advisor and is testament to the very hard work by the leaders, teachers and students in both schools.”