The outgoing headteacher of a secondary school on the up says she is proud to be leaving the school in a better place than when she joined.
Wendy Hamilton will leave Stamford Queen Eleanor School at the end of the academic year to take up the headship at Aireville School in Skipton, North Yorkshire.
Mrs Hamilton took over at Queen Eleanor in 2009 and has overseen a transformation in the school’s performance, with GCSE results last year breaking all previous records.
She acknowledges there is still a lot of hard work to be done before the school reaches the outstanding level to which it aspires. But she believes the hard work put in by both staff and pupils in has left the school in a great position to move forward.
Mrs Hamilton said: “The key thing for us is that we knew we were on a journey. The core part was to drive up academic standards and we all shared that agenda.”
One thing letting the school down in 2009 was GCSE maths results, and Mrs Hamilton soon made the subject a priority. Improvements were made and last year 71 per cent of pupils achieved A* to C grades in maths.
Mrs Hamilton said: “For a number of reasons the results weren’t where they needed to be. The maths department has been on the biggest journey of all. They are now on the cusp of being an outstanding department, and that’s what they wanted to become.”
The only frustration for Mrs Hamilton is the school’s reputation within Stamford. While improvement is clear within the school itself, Mrs Hamilton believes there are still some parents who think the Queen Eleanor cannot cater for high ability pupils.
She said: “It is still a frustration for all of us, including parents who know we are doing a good job. People need to recognise that and applaud us for what we have achieved, and support us as their local school.”
But Mrs Hamilton leaves Queen Eleanor with fond memories and a deep sense of pride. She said: “Being appointed here was the proudest moment of my teaching career.
“I told pupils in my first assembly that standing on that stage in front of them was the proudest moment I have had, and it still is.”