4:10pm Monday 19th March 2012
By Jon Reeve
TWO more Southampton head teachers have been chosen as trailblazers.
The selection of Ludlow Infant School’s Jeannie Gibbons and Gary Hampton of Harefield Primary School as National Leaders of education (NLE) means more than ten per cent of the city’s schools are now run by “super-heads”.
They were among fewer than 100 chosen nationally. It reflects their ability to support schools facing challenging circumstances.
National Leaders are outstanding head teachers who, together with their staff, support other schools to help standards. Their schools become National Support Schools, which draw on their own strengths to support improvement elsewhere.
National figures reveal schools where NLEs are in place perform significantly better, with secondary schools recording almost twice the rate of improvement in the proportion of pupils achieving the benchmark five or more GCSE grades A* to C including maths and English between 2008 and 2010.
Primary schools supported by NLEs improved Key Stage 2 results by more than seven per cent over the same period, while others remained stable.
Mrs Gibbons and Mr Hampton will now attend the National College’s Learning and Conference Centre in Nottingham next month for a formal induction and training for the role in driving school improvement.
Mrs Gibbons said the selection is a “real honour” for everyone at Ludlow Infant School.
She said: “We take our role as public servants very seriously and are thrilled for the community we serve that our school has been recognised in this way.”
Mr Hampton said: “Our staff have developed real talents as we have continued to demonstrate that we understand what makes a successful school.
“We will all learn and gain hugely from sharing our strengths and experience with other schools. This accreditation is an investment in the children of the city - our future."
Southampton’s education chief, Cllr Jeremy Moulton, said he believes the NLEs, along with the city’s 11 Local Leaders of Education who also mentor heads and staff at other schools, will help raise standards across the whole of Southampton.
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