With all the gloom in our daily lives, it is encouraging to be able to record an uncomplicated success story. Rose Hill Primary School in Oxford will feature as one of the most improved primary schools in the country in league tables published today and it has just won a national award for its efforts. How has it achieved that? For a start, the headteacher, Sue Mortimer, upon appointment picked up a paintbrush and gave her school a makeover during the summer holidays. She was shocked by the "dreary" surroundings in which the pupils were taught. Maybe they were, too.
Of course, there is more to it than that. There were also changes to the teaching staff, plus new posters in every classroom spelling out the rules for good behaviour, including a "no shouting" rule for teachers. The school serves a disadvantaged area of Oxford but, at least as far as their education is concerned, the pupils can no longer be described as suffering any disadvantage.