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Tuesday, 9 February, 1999, 12:23 GMT
Going the extra mile
graphic
Two years ago Morningside Junior Mixed and Infant School in Homerton, east London, was 'named and shamed' as one of the worst schools in the country.

jean millham
Jean Millham: "It's tough"
It is now one of those praised in Ofsted's annual report as having come off the failing list.

The woman who turned the school around, the headteacher, Jean Millham, said the impact of failing an inspection was dreadful.

"I had a playground full of weeping children, who felt that they had been rubbished, they had been told that yet again they were no good," she said.

Ofsted annual 98
"I had parents who were absolutely livid. I had teachers who for nearly 18 months had been striving to improve the situation feeling: 'What more do they want? We can't give any more'.

"But we gave that little extra - we've gone that extra mile. And we celebrate."

Her message for other schools in a similar situation is: "Don't give up."

"Just keep proving that you are as good as anyone else. I'm sorry the message is, it's really, really hard work.

"You will be exhausted, the children will be exhausted, but in the end it'll be worth it."

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