Pupils at Stockland Green School in Erdington have seen their results edge closer to Birmingham's pass average this year.
The school's turnaround has been evident in the steady improvement in GCSE results gained by pupils over the last three years.
In 2002 the number of pupils gaining 5 A-C grades or more was just 14 per cent.
In 2005 it was 49 per cent, while the city of Birmingham this year recorded 54 per cent for A* to C.
Head teacher Andy Arnott said he hoped to get the school's figure even higher when it becomes Stockland Green Technology College.
"I came in January 2001 and we were in trouble," he said. "We focused on raising expectations of pupils and staff. There was a real focus on achievement and improving behaviour to support learning.
"Staffing has been the hardest nut to crack. That's because you are only as good as your staff. When your reputation is bumping along the floor, people don't want to teach at your school.
"It takes a while to change perceptions, to send out the message that Stockland Green is a place where you can work and be fulfilled as a teacher."
When it was eventually fully staffed, classroom techniques also came under the spotlight. Puzzles were set at the start of the lesson to engage pupils' attention and reviews of what had been learned take place at its close.
"This year the deputy head said 'we could be looking at the top 40s in 2005 and I thought, 'well, we'll see'," said Mr Arnott. "To have 49 per cent getting five or more passes is very pleasing for me and the Stockland Green community."