Features > From ‘awful’ to awesome

14 September 2017 | by Lorna Donlon

From ‘awful’ to awesome

From ‘awful’ to awesome



Five years ago, Eamon Connolly stood in the playground of St Thomas the Apostle College in Peckham, and as the newly appointed head of this south London secondary school he concluded that the situation was “awful”.

The Catholic boys’ school, had been told it needed to improve the quality of its leadership and and teaching in all subjects, in a highly critical Ofsted report. Pupil numbers were down, expectations were low and many of the children did not want to be at the college in the first place.

In June this year, the scale and speed of the school’s turnaround was highlighted when St Thomas the Apostle was named Secondary School of the Year at the 2017 TES Schools Awards. The most recent Ofsted report in 2014 judged it an outstanding school.


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