Special Needs

From Rock-Bottom to Sky-High: Leading with Vision and Compassion

Headteacher Chris Dyson took on one of the toughest schools around—one that no one else would touch. And he found that, like with most children, the students were all capable of doing well, but they needed ways to connect with education that were fun, rewarding and which truly addressed their wellbeing. Once a centre of chaos that had 150 exclusions a year, Parklands Primary School now boasts some of the best maths scores in the country and is oversubscribed because of its great reputation.

When I applied for the role of headteacher at Parklands Primary School in South East Leeds, I was faced with the great challenge of turning around a school which had seen five headteachers come and go within the previous two years. Despite only being a deputy head, since no other teachers applied for the role, I was appointed to the position in 2015.

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