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In 1997, Pineapple Junior Infants School was a byword for failure. Its pupils were under-achieving, attendance was low and morale among staff was plummeting.

 

To her pupils, Sab Sahota-Lyons is an inspirational English teacher whose memory is so sharp that she can reel off whole chunks of text by heart and recall quotes and even whole paragraphs with ease.

 

Gehane Gordelier took on a job that seemed a Mission Impossible to most of her professional colleagues. The post of headteacher at Harry Gosling Primary School in Tower Hamlets, east London, had been advertised three times with no takers.

 

Helen Ridding took on a challenge few teachers would contemplate when she accepted a job at one of the worst primary schools in the country.

 

Primary head devised groundbreaking Daily Mile scheme, where pupils run or walk a mile every day, virtually eliminating obesity at her school.

 

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