The new headteacher of Batley Business and Enterprise College has shared her vision for the school’s future.
Sam Vickers landed the official role last week after nearly a year as acting head following Ian Dutton’s departure.
And she has vowed to have the all-boys school receive an ‘Outstanding’ Ofsted report within 10 years.
Ms Vickers, 38, of Norristhorpe, said: “I feel my responisbility is to get the school to ‘Outstanding’.
“And I feel privileged to be the first female headteacher. It’s important for the boys to have positive female role models.
“It’s happened at a time when the school is on a fantastic trajectory. I’m absolutely delighted, I can’t state that enough.”
Ms Vickers acknowledges the school’s reputation was not good in the past, but believes recent success shows that the institution is evolving.
She notes that 100 per cent of boys who took GCSEs or an equivalent qualification in business studies, music, horticulture and computing this year earned A* to C-grades.
“We are just coming out of that. The fact that the community is responsive to anything we put out there is fantastic,” she said.
After graduating from The University of Huddersfield with a degree in Molecular and Cellular Biology, Ms Vickers worked in a laboratory, and then in various teaching roles.
Later, she became a Bradford-based schools improvement officer, observing nine different sites – including BBEC itself – as well as carrying out teacher training.
She was deputy head at Bradford’s Nab Wood school for two years and afterwards at BBEC.
She thinks that this experience has allowed her and “brilliant” specialist staff to implement more career-based learning, which teaches the boys to hone their specific skills for the future.
There is a bigger emphasis on sciences, technology and the arts than before, and Ms Vickers believes this plays into the boys’ enthusiasm for being hands-on.
The school also now has the BBEC Barnyard, where pupils tend to animals, and a horticulture centre, which Ms Vickers said educates them about sustainability.
“The school should be at the heart of the community.
“There’s something really rewarding about firing up young minds,” she said. “Every lesson of every day should be good or better.”