Bowing out, the head who took her school to the top

Bowing out, the head who took her school to the top

A HEADTEACHER who led her Batley school to the top is to retire next month after 12 years in the role.

Jackie Eames bows out having turned Batley Girls’ High into one of the nation’s best non-selective secondary schools.

She leaves for a part-time consultancy role in Bradford, where she hopes for the same success. Mrs Eames is to be replaced by deputies Ann McCall and Julie Haigh, who are to become joint headteachers.

Current head of sixth form David Cooper is to become deputy head as part of the transition.

Mrs Eames believes her new post in Bradford will be a similar challenge to the one she faced at Batley.

She said: “When I first arrived our school was not thought of as a desirable place to be.

“But I don’t agree that just because an area is considered to be deprived that children aren’t capable of achieving.”

Her work on raising confidence and expectations saw exam results shoot through the roof.

GCSE pass rates went from 29 per cent to more than 99 cent while the sixth form has gone from 170 to 300 students.

It culminated this year in an ‘outstanding’ Ofsted report and Mrs Eames said: “That put the cap on it. Things don't get any better than that.”

In her spare time, Mrs Eames plans to do more dancing and study French and Italian with U3A.

She added: “I leave with tremendous memories and in the knowledge that the school is in safe hands for the future.”

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