I would like to endorse everything Rebecca Elliott said. As head of a similar school in similar circumstances, I can say that we too, to continue her jam analogy, are expected to produce a perfect product with far from perfect ingredients.
What concerns me most is that schools like hers and mine are under so much pressure,(often disguised as support) from the local authority and government. It will soon be impossible to recruit teachers and headteachers to work in them. Teachers who work with very challenging children have to be the very best in order to switch them on to learning, but who would willingly put themselves in such a difficult situation when teachers earn the same amount in a "jam factory" where parents have done half the job for them?
Thankfully, some of us are prepared to keep trying as we know the consequences of failing these children is not only a personal tragedy for them but for our society as a whole.
I just hope the powers that be take notice of such a well-written article.
Pat Downes, Headteacher, Parklands Community Primary, Ellesmere Port.