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.
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.
- Improvements at Calverton Primary School, bbc.co.uk; accessed 9 April 2016.
- Charter Academy website Archived 4 November 2013 at the Wayback Machine., charteracademy.org.uk; accessed 9 April 2016.
- "Price of suing the NHS too high: Suing the NHS for medical negligence may become too costly in the wake of cuts to both legal aid and lawyers' success fees", theguardian.com; accessed 9 April 2016.
- Children Left Behind policy document Archived 22 November 2006 at the Wayback Machine.