Hopes high for Holywells

HOLYWELLS High is ditching its 'troubled school' tag and going for the gold standard.The school's curriculum will feature A-level teaching from the first time from September – dubbed the gold standard of British educationAnd it is just one part of an ambitious five-year plan agreed with Government inspectors which could see Holywells:n Bid for specialist status as a visual arts college.

HOLYWELLS High is ditching its 'troubled school' tag and going for the gold standard.

The school is fighting back from the doldrums when its failings made headline news. The new curriculum will feature A-level teaching from the first time from September – dubbed the gold standard of British education.

And it is just one part of an ambitious five-year plan agreed with Government inspectors which could see Holywells:

n Bid for specialist status as a visual arts college.


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n Become a graduate training centre for trainee teachers.

n Attain equality with sixth form partner Coplestone.

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Holywells was plunged into special measures after a series of damning reports from Government inspectors.

But it is the regular inspections, that dynamic acting headteacher Karen Grimes said were the driving force behind the school's remarkable recovery.

She said: "If you could have special measures without all the adverse publicity it's one of the best things that could happen to a school.

"It's the best personal development you could ever have. It's a great chance to be innovative and to start with a blank sheet."

As a special measures school, Holywells is visited by inspectors every term.

But instead of generating pressure, inspectors are actually encouraging change and progress.

Mrs Grimes said: "We find it a very positive relationship, very useful and productive – we get access to that expertise every term."

And the inspectors obviously like what they see as well – the Gainsborough school hopes to be removed from special measures within two terms.

It is all a far cry from when Holywells was making unwanted national headlines as a school which could not recruit enough teachers.

Now it boasts state-of-the-art computer facilities which will be used for the new ICT A-level.

Mrs Grimes said: "We have already reached the target of having one computer for every five pupils and have interactive whiteboards dotted around the school."

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See page 2 for the school's hopes.

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