St Georges Roman Catholic School in Maida Vale was well known for all the wrong reasons. It was there the headmaster Philip Lawrence was stabbed whilst trying to break up a fight between one of his pupils and another pupil from another school.
That was in 1995. In 1998 the school was put on the failing list because of bad behaviour from pupils and poor teaching and in 2000 the school was closed for a week after the then head was attacked going to help a fellow teacher. She retired.
Marie Stubbs was asked to take over. She spent a year at St George's to turn the school around and get it removed.
In her book Ahead of the Class she describes how she achieved her objective. But why, with the prospect of a pleasant retirement on the horizon, did she agree to take it on? Marie Stubbs joins Jenni to tell her why. Ahead of the Class: How an Aspiring Headmistress Gave Children Back Their Future by Marie Stubbs, published by John Murray; ISBN: 0719563356