Lisa Laws became Head of Blackheath High School back in October 2000, and in her 14 years as Head she has achieved what few people could.
Under her leadership Blackheath High School has gone from strength to strength, raising its profile and performance. In a highly competitive environment she has increased pupil numbers every year, introducing the concept of marketing and organising buses to bring new pupils into the school.
She has driven up academic standards, which has not only attracted students to us but has meant that many girls have achieved more than they ever believed possible. The growth of the school has developed hand-in-hand with improving standards and outcomes – last year 10% of our leavers gained an Oxbridge place.
Lisa has been tireless in seeking out new experiences for our girls. Blackheath was among the first GDST schools to introduce Mandarin; we have had strong international links with schools in China and Nigeria, as well as Germany, France and more recently Spain. She introduced a raft of initiatives: these include EPQ, increased numbers of day and residential trips, the SHINE programme and ‘Open Door’, to make the school’s facilities available to the local community, pupils and parents.
She is a unique educational leader, constantly open to new ideas which have differentiated our school from others. Girls here achieve high academic standards but Lisa has always appreciated that it is also personal qualities and other skills that will help our students to climb the ladder of success. The school provides a happy and caring environment in which their confidence grows. Lisa herself describes the ethos of the school as one which encourages the girls to see ‘opportunities, not boundaries, and challenges, not obstacles’.
Lisa has also played a key role more widely in the GDST as Acting Director of Education alongside her role as Head for almost a year; she has also been a key member and Chairman of the Heads’ Committee and has represented the Trust at the Joint Consultative Group.
Our Head has been passionate about obtaining the best for her school, constantly upgrading and improving our facilities, with an ongoing programme of refurbishment at both sites (including Science labs, the Sixth Form Centre, the Dining Room, the Junior library, classrooms, toilets and corridors). She has proposed and master-minded the new planned redevelopment, meaning that her legacy of improvement will continue well after she has left us.
Many things that have changed under Lisa’s leadership, culminating in the ‘excellent’ ratings across the board in our Independent Schools’ Inspectorate (ISI) report. She is a special teacher, who has touched and enriched the lives of so many girls here, and has built one of the most exciting educational environments in London.
It has been a great privilege to have had Lisa Laws as our Head Teacher – our thanks and best wishes to her for the future.
Dr. Helen Pascoe
Deputy Head Teacher