Superhead Beverley Martin has been appointed as the Matravers School interim headteacher, in a bid to improve academic standards and behaviour.
The Westbury school has seen GCSE and A-level results improve over the past few years, but still ranks near the bottom of Wiltshire league tables.
Mrs Martin, a Department for Education National Leader, turned around two failing schools which combined to form The Manor School in Melksham, which is now rated Outstanding by Ofsted.
She said her aim was to create a better learning environment for students.
“The Manor School is in a similarly deprived area and had similar problems, but we were one of the top performing primary schools last year,” she said.
“I’m now in a position to bring about change here at Matravers. We National Leaders of Education have received training on providing effective change for schools in challenging circumstances.
“There are two key factors which have to be addressed; the first is behaviour for learning – or the students’ attitude to learning – which we are beginning to address already.
“There have already been improvements in behaviour and low-level disruption has been eradicated, creating a better learning environment, so they can focus on what is really important.
“The other factor is ensuring high quality teaching.
“These are the changes which are going to make the most gains for our students.”
Former headteacher Chris Dark retired at the start of the summer term last year. The school has been run by deputy headteacher Richard Haupt in the meantime.
It has undergone an extensive refurbishment over the summer holidays, with the launch of a new sixth form centre announced last week.
It has meeting rooms, which can also be used by local businesses and community groups.
Computer equipment has been updated throughout the school, with new hardware including 100 laptops, Apple Macs, tablets and digital imaging devices.
The maths department and reception area have been refurbished, while the various performing arts departments have been expanded.
There is also now tiered seating in the school hall, allowing it to be better used for productions.