The former teaching assistant leading one of the country's most successful primaries


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Not so long ago Kim Halls was a teaching assistant who did not even have a GCSE pass in maths and English.

Now she is headteacher of the most successful primary school in the country – where every pupil has achieved the level beyond what is expected of an 11-year-old in maths and English.

Mrs Halls only became head of St Margaret's Church of England Primary School in Toppesfield, near Halstead, Essex, at the beginning of this term.

However, she was the teacher who taught the 11-year-olds who achieved such a stunning success before she took up the headship.

St Margaret's is a small village primary school which is just beginning to reap the dividends of its success. Its numbers have swelled from 53 to 63 as news of its test results have spread.

"We have incredibly high expectations of pupils and great support from parents," Mrs Halls said. "It is literally in the last two years that our results have gone through the roof. We now have children quite regularly who are midway through their education transferring to this school."

Some are "bussed" in from neighbouring villages. "They have heard about the excellent teaching quality here," Mrs Halls added.

Mrs Halls was the branch manager of a commercial insurance company before she became a teaching assistant. She then took her GCSEs and A Levels before training to become a teacher.

Ofsted, the education standards watchdog, reported on the school: "St Margaret's is a good school that plays an important role within its local community. It strongly promotes an ethos that 'you can do it', building pupils' confidence."

To view the Primary School League Tables 2011,  grouped by local education authority, click here