Leading by example
A Bradford headteacher has been commended after turning a struggling primary school around and making it into one of the top 250 in the country for student progress.
Mr Wahid Zaman took over the reins at Lapage Primary School in 2010 after the educatory establishment’s for-mer governing body was ousted by the national authority.
With the school worryingly making ‘insufficient progress’ and ‘causing concern’ Mr Zaman took up the challenge to lead the three-form entry school away from its growing negative reputation.
After three years, Lapage is now one of the leading primary schools in the country, and was commemorated by the Department for Education (DfE) earlier this month for the student progress.
Now, in the top one per cent in the country, the primary school continues to improve results year-on-year and for Mr Zaman it signals a job well done.
“When we came back from the winter break, we received a letter from David Laws (Minister of State for Schools in the DfE),” he explained.
“It does obviously make you very proud to hear such news and recognition but it is done because we want the best outcome for the children.
“Our aspirations are always to do the best for our children, and if it were not for our amazing staff and governing body we wouldn’t be where we are now.”
Prior to Mr Zaman’s arrival an appointed governing body had been in place after the school had been placed in precautionary measures.
Over the following three years, the school has been able to bring in new governors, and re-establish themselves as one of the top performing schools in the area.
“For two years in a row now we have had fantastic results,” Mr Zaman continued.
“In terms of the children, from Key Stage One to Two, the DfE measured progress and we were within the top one per cent nationally, as well as being the top 250 for progress of our pupil premium.
“The year before last, we were in line with the national average in regard to results, and last year we were above that.”
Despite the accomplishments Mr Zaman stressed that there have been, and always will be, challenges that need to be overcome explaining how his school always looks at ways of improving.
He added: “Improving schools is not exactly rocket science; you just need to have dedicated staff that can help children achieve their potential.
“Every time the school has an assessment or half-term, we sit down and assess who has made progress and who hasn’t and we are constantly rethinking what we do with the children.
“It has had its challenges but I have never come in here and thought the staff aren’t up to it.”