Comart serves the Whitehawk estate, one of the toughest in the south of England. More than half of the pupils are on the special needs register.
Its catchment accounts for only 3 per cent of the city's area but more than 70 per cent of the child protection register. Parents continue to shun the school, which has fewer than 460 pupils on roll.
Formerly known as Stanley Deason high, it was failed by Ofsted in 1996. It changed its name to Marina high in 1997.
In February 1998 it lost Libby Colman, its head, who claimed her health and career had been ruined by the pressures of the school.
It was given a "fresh start" in 1999. "Superhead" Tony Garwood, drafted in to turn it around, resigned the following March.
Three months later, it became the first fresh start school to fail an inspection.
Clive Frost, director of the local education action zone, ran the school until Dr Clough arrived.