Head of St Paul's in Astley Bridge praised by Ofsted chief

The Bolton News: Headteacher Karen Bramwell with pupils,  Layton Harlying-McEllin, Aoibhinn McNab, Zainab Pir, Callum Giles and Ameen Patel Headteacher Karen Bramwell with pupils, Layton Harlying-McEllin, Aoibhinn McNab, Zainab Pir, Callum Giles and Ameen Patel

A HEADTEACHER has been singled out for “making a difference” by the chief inspector of schools.

Karen Bramwell, head of St Paul’s CE Primary School in Astley Bridge, was named in Sir Michael Wilshaw’s annual speech.

He criticised the “educational lottery” in which some “unlucky” children find themselves in substandard schools, while “lucky” children — such as those at St Paul’s — benefit from an excellent education.

He added that other heads should follow Mrs Bramwell’s example in ensuring pupils receive a good education.

Mrs Bramwell leads an Ofsted recognised outstanding school in a “very challenging” area where the numbers of children entitled to additional funding — such as those from poorer backgrounds — is above average.

Sir Michael said: “The lucky child is particularly fortunate in his headteacher. Such heads are motivated by potential and not daunted by circumstance.

“They do not concede to vested interests and they do not patronise poor children by making excuses. They do not measure a pupil’s ambition by sizing up their parents.”

At St Paul’s CE Primary many children entered school with skills and abilities well below those nationally, but found the standards reached by the end of Year Six were significantly above average.

Mrs Bramwell is a national leader in education and the school has National Support School status and works both locally and nationally to share its success.

Mrs Bramwell said: “I feel very privileged to be named in the report, as this reflects really positively upon the St Paul’s family, which is united in a determination for all to succeed. Equality of opportunity and the right of every child to an outstanding education are at the heart of everything we do here at St Paul’s.

“We are proud of our children and families both past and present and love to hear of their success as they prosper as lifelong learners.”

She added: “This is great news for Bolton as we are just one of a number of very successful schools who collaborate effectively to achieve the very best we can.”

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