'Superhead' credits team for success

KNIGHTED headteacher Robert Dowling is growing used to being called "Sir Bob" by his pupils at George Dixon International School in Birmingham.

The 59-year-old received the honour for leading George Dixon and Uffculme secondary out of special measures, and for founding Selly Oak special school which pioneered methods for teaching dyslexic children.

Sir Robert said he was "humbled" by the knighthood, which he said reflected the hard work of fellow teachers.

"There's no such animal as a superhead," he said. "Nobody brings a school out of special measures on their own - I have a fantastic team.

"The message that people in education can get the top honours is important because when anything goes wrong in society - crime, drugs, the lot - it always seems the schools are at fault."

George Dixon International has recently gained permission to become an official centre for teaching the International Baccalaureate, despite serving one of the most deprived wards in England.

Michael Shaw

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