Urban Leadership – Boys’ School Turnaround

A look at headteacher Mel Woodcock’s work at an all-boys school Most urban schools are tough. Boys’ schools bring their own issues, especially when they serve areas including some of the most deprived communities in the country. When Mel Woodcock became headteacher at North Manchester High School for Boys, the school was in special measures. Mel had two options for the school: either make it a cross between an army camp and a rugby club or take a softer approach. He chose the latter, and has seen the creativity in his boys blossom in drama, dance, art and food technology. Last year the school achieved specialist status as an arts college, and all-important extra funding. Mel’s is a success story but not an easy one.

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