THE new head teacher of a superschool has vowed to make it ‘outstanding’ within five years.

In her first interview since taking over at Shuttleworth College, Padiham, Ruth England said she wanted it to become ‘the school of choice’ for parents in the town.


Mrs England said she had a ‘long-term vision’ to improve the Burnley Road school, which has had four headteachers since it opened in 2007.

Previous head Bob Wakefield stepped down from the role in June after three years in which the school consolidated its ‘requires improvement’ rating with Ofsted.

It had been in special measures in 2008, but Mrs England, who is entering her first headship, said she had seen enough from her staff and pupils so far to be optimistic.

The University of Liverpool graduate, who spent 15 years as a French and Spanish teacher, was previously vice-principal at University Academy Warrington and has also worked at comprehensives in Hackney and Lewisham.

She said: “There is lots of potential here.

“You can see that in the staff and students.

“What I really want to instil in that oomph to take people to the next level. I have met every year group and, without exception, the children have great ambitions.

“They want to go to university, to do A-levels, to do apprenticeships, and it’s our job to give them the guidance and the skills to achieve that.”

The school scored its best ever GCSE English and mathematics results earlier this year, but Mrs England was keen to emphasise that nobody would be resting on their laurels.

She has spent the summer months drawing up revision timetables with her senior leadership team in the hope of even better results for Year 11 pupils.

Mrs England, 41, said: “I have set a vision that we will be an outstanding school.

“That’s a five-year journey, but the end point isn’t as important as what we learn in that time.

“Ofsted inspections are a valuable tool but they only measure a certain point in time.

“I’ve not come here for one or two years. I said to the governors that as a first-time head, this is my chance to make my mark.”