Teacher makes an instant impact on struggling school

A MIRFIELD Free Grammar teacher has had an instant impact on a failing Huddersfield school, an Ofsted report shows.

Maggie Dunn, now acting head at Colne Valley High, was praised in a follow-up inspection on the Linthwaite secondary last week.

She took over after Colne Valley’s head, Carole Gormley, quit when the 11 to 16 comprehensive was put into special measures in February.

MFG principal Lorraine Barker, an accredited National Leader of Education, has also worked on a plan for turning Colne Valley around.

There has already been extra training for staff, specialist support for maths and science teachers and a parents’ forum created.

MFG is also likely to effectively take over Colne Valley by becoming its sponsor as a proposed academy.

The strategy was given the thumbs-up when a government inspector made a follow-up visit last month.

An Ofsted report said: “Although at an early stage of development, high-level strategic plans for this partnership are suitably targeted and proposed developments have the potential to drive the improvements required rapidly.

“The emphasis on systemic improvements at all levels, clarity of expectations and accountabilities, alongside innovative approaches to improving learning, are promising.”

NUT Kirklees branch joint general secretary Howard Roberts also praised Ms Dunn and Mrs Barker after talks about Colne Valley’s future.

He said of them: “We’ve had serious and meaningful discussions and have been very impressed. We’re working with them as closely as possible.

“They clearly have a sense of direction and are measured and thoughtful, which is what Colne Valley desperately needs.”

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