Head sought for England's most improved school

9th January 2004 at 00:00
Are you confident enough to try and improve a school which is already lauded as the most improved in England?

After a spectacular success in turning round Wellington primary in the London borough of Tower Hamlets, Margaret Libreri has been promoted, leaving a vacant headship at the 279-pupil school.

Mrs Libreri took over the headship in 2001 when it was still in special measures. She focused on high-quality teaching and high expectations and by this summer 85 per cent of 11-year-olds reached the standard expected in English, compared with just over a third in 2000.

An Office for Standards in Education inspection four months ago said that her leadership was very good and that it inspired the whole school community. Now she is to become primary strategy manager for the London borough of Tower Hamlets.

Mrs Libreri said: "I know I'm leaving the school in a much better state than when I came. It will be a nice school to take on because there is a very clear agenda for further improvement.

"Shaping the primary strategy for Tower Hamlets will be quite a challenge.

But I like a challenge. It is very clear from the Ofsted report what still needs to be done in school."

More than four out of five pupils at Wellington primary speak English as an additional language and 58 per cent claim free school meals.

Inspectors highlighted a need to improve standards in PE and information communications technology, systems to track pupils' progress in some subjects and said that pupils needed more opportunities to explore cultural diversity.

Despite the regeneration of Docklands, Tower Hamlets has high rates of unemployment, poverty and poor housing. About three-quarters of children live in low income families. It came 100th out of the 150 authorities in this year's primary league tables. It did better than average in helping children progress.

Sara Hill, currently deputy at Bonner primary, one of Tower Hamlets' most consistently successful schools, takes over as acting head of Wellington from January. The permanent head's job has been advertised and interviews are due to take place in late January.

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