If Barr Beacon School was a pupil it would be top of the class. Five years ago, the school was in the lowest 10% of schools for achievement at GCSE level. Now, it is in the top 10%.
Headteacher Dame Maureen Brennan is “delighted with the transformation” she has led at the school since taking over in 2007. Famously, she doesn’t see successful school improvement as a great mystery: “You’ve got great pupils so you just add superb staff who all want the best for every child in their care and you can’t help but equal outstanding exam results”.
Barr Beacon pupils make outstanding progress from the moment they leave their primary schools. As soon as they enter in year 7 they are pushed to exceed their minimum target grades, or ‘baselines’. By the time they finish year 11 they are some of the highest achieving pupils in the country. Most continue into the very successful sixth form to do their A Levels. From there they are supported every step of the way in their applications to the best universities to study every course imaginable, from medicine to film production.