Sharon Hollows

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Dame Sharon Hollows, DBE (born 1958, Burnley) is an English schoolteacher and headmistress.

When Hollows took on her first headship at Calverton Primary School in Newham in 1994, pupils' performance was very poor. By 1999, when the primary school results were published, Hollows had raised the score 11-year-olds achieved across the three subjects in the national curriculum tests to 269 – up from just 45 in 1994. It marked out the school as the most improved in the country. In 2001 the performance went up again, to 287, far above the national average, with most of the students being of African, Asian or Eastern European descent.[1]

In October 2000, Hollows gave the footnote addresses at the W. Garfield Weston Foundation's Outstanding Principals Awards Program conferences in Vancouver and Calgary.[citation needed]

Dame Sharon Hollows is currently the principal at Charter Academy, a Church of England secondary school in Portsmouth, which is sponsored by ARK Schools.[2]


Hollows' work was formally recognised in 2001 when she became a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire. Aged 42, she was one of the youngest recipients of this honour.[citation needed]


Hollows successfully sued the NHS[why?] on behalf of her blind daughter, Tatum, for £1.5 million.[3]


At the Children Left Behind Conservative Party conference on the state of British schools, Hollows earned the following praise: Another example of transformational leadership is Sharon Hollows, who took the headship of Calverton Primary School in Newham in 1994. Like Whalley Range, Calverton was in a very poor state when she took over, yet Ms Hollows succeeded in raising the score that her eleven-year-olds achieve in their national curriculum tests from just 45 in 1994 to 287 today. Having raised its performance from well below to well above the national average, Calverton became the most improved school in the country, despite most of its pupils being from families for whom English is not a first language. Ms. Hollows reports that one of the keys to her approach was involving parents more, drawing up ‘home-school contracts’ before they became a national requirement.[4]


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