Head chooses to stay as exam results soar

Balraj Hare with students
Balraj Hare with students

An upper school’s headteacher and her two vice principals have decided to see students’ progress into the future.

In a show of commitment to Sandy Upper School, head Balraj Hare and vice principals, Lisa Goodship and Karen Hayward, have left the Barnfield Federation to be employed by Central Beds Council.

Ms Hare said: “We had secure jobs at Barnfield and the reason we have stayed is because it’s about time somebody had the courage, confidence and conviction to say ‘we will stay here and make things work.’

“All the school needed was strong leadership.”

This week Ofsted praised the school for its incredibly rapid improvement since September.

In November 64 per cent of the Year 11 students were entered to take their GCSE maths ahead of the summer and 99 per cent of these passed with A*-C grades.

This figure was only 65 per cent by the end of the last academic year and the school still has the remainder of its students to enter.

Ms Hare hopes to see A* to C pass rates of at least 85 per cent by the time the summer results come out.

The figures are even more impressive in English, where 93 per cent of Year 11 students were entered for their GCSE and 89 per cent achieved A* to C grades.

The total for last year’s cohort was only 60 per cent and this year Ms Hare hopes it will be 92 per cent or higher.

She attributes part of this success to intensive, personalised teacher training, hard work from all staff and improved analysis of data. Students have been encouraged to have higher aspirations.

More students are also choosing to stay at the school for the Sixth Form.

Last year 21 per cent of Year 11s chose to come back for Year 12 and this year 46 per cent have applied.