New face at the helm to wipe slate clean

Stressed headteacher who altered pupils' papers escapes being struck off the teaching register. Helen Ward reports

THE new headteacher of Wyndham primary, Newcastle, this week spoke about her top priority and her determination to do far more than boost English, maths and science results.

Barbara Redhead stepped in as associate headteacher last September. She managed Wyndham while still head at another Newcastle school, Dinnington first - one of the top 200 primary schools in England.

Mrs Redhead officially became Wyndham's headteacher in April this year. She said: "This school has so much potential. It is full of lovely children, I've got a super staff and wonderful parents."

Last year, 65 children in Year 6 had their maths and science national test scores annulled after former head Helen Quick admitted to altering some papers.

She said: "You have to be sensitive to the fact that everyone has undergone this experience, something that they had not expected to happen. But there is a need to draw a line under things and move on."

Her priority is the children. "It is very important they receive a very high standard of education."

She requested that the local authority audited the national tests this year to instil confidence among parents.

But Mrs Redhead is determined to do far more than boost English, maths and science. French lessons have begun for Years 5 and 6 and will be extended to Years 3 and 4.

Also, a music specialist is employed and a wooden story-telling circle is being built in the school grounds as part of a drama project.

Work starts next week on a new sports hall and drama class, following a successful lottery bid, and the nursery is being refurbished and combined with the reception classes in a new foundation-stage unit.

Mrs Redhead is calling for annulled results to be graded N rather than 0 per cent in official tables. She argues that using 0 per cent is not a fair reflection of pupils' abilities.

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