WORDSLEY School headteacher Mike Lambert has launched a scathing attack on Schools Secretary Ed Balls after the school labelled by the Government as failing'.

The Brierley Hill Road school is one of 638 across the country listed as falling below the minimum standard' as its 2007 pass rate was below the Government's 30 per cent target, with just 21 per cent of pupils gaining five good GCSEs.

But dedicated headteacher Mike Lambert, who has been at the school's helm for seven years, has hit back at the Minister's comments warning such schools to shape up or face being shut down.

Mr Lambert said: "Ed Balls is failing our schools and the communities they serve through undermining their tremendous hard work and dismissing their wonderful achievements".

And he told the News the Government's simplistic measuring stick of rating schools for the number of A* to C grades achieved by pupils takes no account of the progress they make throughout their time at secondary school.

The headteacher said the school was last year ranked the highest achieving comprehensive in Dudley under the new contextual added value' system - which rates the progress made by pupils between Key Stage 2 and Key Stage 4; and it was in the top nine per cent of schools nationally.

Mr Lambert said the school had even been featured as a case study as one of 50 successful schools in new Government scheme The Extra Mile - launched on the same day Ed Balls revealed his National Challenge crack down on poorly performing schools.

He continued: "It's barmy. No wonder so many politicians look so confused. Fortunately parents are far more discerning and perceptive than politicians."

He said the school is currently the second most oversubscribed in Dudley for September 2008, with more parents going to appeal to win places at Wordsley than for any other borough school.

Mr Lambert added: "I believe action needs to be taken regarding failing schools, however we need to use a more accurate measure of what constitutes a successful and unsuccessful school. We all deserve better."

Dudley's director of children's services, John Freeman, said The Wordsley School was not failing" - but, along with Castle High, Coseley School and Pensnett High, it did fall below the Government's exam results target.

He said: "We are working closely with each school to ensure they do the very best they can and I am confident headteachers and staff share our ambitions for the highest standards."

Plans are now afoot - as part of Dudley's Building Schools for the Future plan - to increase pupil numbers from 755 to 900 and for The Wordsley School to become a trust school.

But determined headteacher Mr Lambert saying he'll fight tooth and nail against any proposals to turn it into a zero tolerance academy run by hard-hearted, tough-talking new teachers - as suggested by Mr Balls.

He added: "It has taken years of hard work from the whole school community to develop a school of which we can be rightly proud and we aim to build upon this success."

He said a number of outraged parents have written to Mr Balls condemning his "superficial comments".