THE headteacher of a Bowdon school has been dubbed a “superhero” after injecting her skills in turning around a troubled school previously dubbed inadequate by Ofsted.

The praise has been heaped on The Bollin Primary headteacher Kylie Spark, who was appointed in March, 2017, following problems, that culminated in parents signing a 750-name petition to have the previous head removed.

Following Mrs Spark’s appointment, the school became an academy under the Inspiring Learners Trust umbrella, with Mrs Spark acting as headteacher at both the 420-pupil school, while remaining in charge at Tyntesfield Primary School, in Sale.

The Messenger was given an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of the school, where we initially met with parents before seeing the changes that had been put into place across the school.

Mum Jo Toft, who has had her two children at the school at varying times over the past 12 years, said: “My daughter is now here and we have had a tough time, but some things are worth fighting for and The Bollin was one of those and it’s back to the way it was when I first looked around it.

“We are so lucky to have Mrs Spark here, who in my opinion is, not just a superhero, but a superhead because at the time she saw that we were worth helping and took us on and now we can’t go wrong now.”

Parent Helen Welch shared that view, adding: “We did have a year where there did seem to be a lot of division, which didn’t help the children, but since Mrs Spark has come in with a very clear idea, she has been very approachable and has taken both the teachers and parents along on the journey and the children are blossoming.”

Mrs Spark explained the obstacles she faced when she first arrived.

She said: “The challenges with the school were rebuilding the community, there was a lack of trust within the community and then we had Ofsted, which judged the school inadequate and that was a very hard message for the school community to hear and a difficult place for the school to start from and that was the starting point.

“It was also about rebuilding the trust in the leadership and trying to help the school recover from the trauma that the whole community experienced in that previous period

“Once we had rebuilt that trust, it was about improving standards in learning and in the curriculum and making the changes that were needed to be made.

“To our delight, the progress has been rapid and everybody was on board, everybody was involved and people started again to enjoy coming to the school, the children were happy the parents were happy for the children to come and the staff were smiling once again and were happy to come to work.”

Mrs Spark said it is a balancing act to create that environment while trying to balance the books.

She said: The trust is all about inspiring learners and that’s not just the children, it’s the staff too.

"We are all learners and it is very much promoted on the walls that we are all on this journey together and everything is about the children.

“It’s about tailoring teaching to the children in the school with that ethos of it being learning focused about us caring for one another and respecting one another valuing everybody.

“The fact that so many parents have stood by the school is testament and we are bringing in so many families now who are choosing us as their school of choice is testament to that but the feedback from parents has been incredibly positive and they are delighted with the rapid rate of progress.

“I love my job, I love being here, I love being the executive headteacher across the two schools and it’s the people I work with day in day out that motivate me in the job that I do, be it the children, staff governors or trustees.

“I am very fortunate to work with like-minded people who want the very best for their children.”

An open day will be held at The Bollin for prospective pupils on Tuesday, January 8, starting at 9.15am.