Dagenham’s All Saints to help struggling schools give pupils best start
A Dagenham secondary school’s exemplary practices has led to it being chosen to help struggling schools improve the way they work with disadvantaged children.
Kevin Wilson, headteacher at All Saints School in Terling Road, has become one of only 100 headteachers in the country to be appointed to the role of National Leader of Education (NLE).
Mr Wilson said: “At All Saints we are aware of the issues faced by students from disadvantaged backgrounds and work very hard to ensure these do not inhibit our students from achieving their goals and being hugely successful.”
The programme is a support system in which better performing schools help others where pupils do not meet the national targets on exam results.
Mr Wilson said: “We went into our feeder schools 15 years ago and made curriculum links, shared good practice with them and got our primary schools onto subjects that they can’t teach, such as science, IT, PE and maths.
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“I talk to the other heads – I do the brokering – while the teachers deliver lessons to the students.”
The teaching of certain subjects not only prepares the children academically for secondary school, but it also helps them get used to the new surroundings.
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Mr Wilson said: “The students come up to secondary school and the fear effect of coming into big new school is gone.
“It’s a social improvement and comfortable – they are familiar with the school and not daunted by walking into a strange environment.”
All Saints was chosen for a number of criteria, including its outstanding Ofsted status. Mr Wilson said: “It’s an accolade to the whole school.
“Most staff can sit back and say ‘haven’t we done well’.”
The next step will be to help other schools in the area to achieve similar systems of support for their feeder schools.
Toby Salt, deputy chief executive of the National College, said: “It’s great that heads like Kevin are becoming NLEs, looking beyond their own school gates to help more and more pupils get the best start in life.
“Helping other school leaders in this way is admirable and something I’d encourage other heads to consider.”