Along with 75 other struggling schools across the country, Kingsdown feared for its future when the then Education Secretary David Blunkett vowed to shut any school where less than 15 per cent of pupils got five good GCSEs.
The Government has since softened its stance and believes Kingsdown, whose fortunes were reversed by four "superheads", could provide a model for co-operative schemes.
Using a pound;75,000 government grant, the heads of three successful schools in the area spent part of their week at Kingsdown supporting its new head Ros McMullen.
While she concentrated on the day-to-day running of the school, the three consultant heads focused on backroom management issues such as the budget, results, and curriculum changes. "It has been a massive team effort and we are absolutely delighted," said Ms McMullen this week. "It normally takes at least five years to turn around a failing school, but we have managed it in two.
"We are in an area of enormous social deprivation and when I arrived at the school morale was low and so were aspirations. We've still got a long way to go but today it is a different place."