Academy bid for 'failing' Blackburn primary school

Academy bid for 'failing' Blackburn primary school

Academy bid for 'failing' Blackburn primary school

First published in News Lancashire Telegraph: Photograph of the Author by , Education reporter

A PRIMARY school which has been in placed in special measures looks set to become an academy.

St Aidan's CofE Primary School is expected to be turned into an academy by the Blackburn Church of England Diocese. Cidari Education is the diocese’s academy arm and it is now looking to sponsor the Mill Hill school from September.

The governing body is said to be in ‘advanced discussions’.

The diocese and experts in failing schools were also said to have stepped in recently, according to a recent Ofsted inspection.

Inspector Alan Torr said: “Four highly-qualified and experienced educational professionals have been appointed to the governing body.

“These include a headteacher and senior leader from a secondary school and the director of diocesan education.

“As a result of their input, the level of challenge to the school to improve standards has increased and they have helped to improve the skills and knowledge of other members of the governing body.

“The governors are taking appropriate action to secure the long-term future and stability of the school.

“The school’s capacity to improve has begun to strengthen. Teaching staff now make presentations to the governing body and have become more accountable for their work.

“They have assigned subjects to lead and some have links with networks of teachers who lead subjects in other schools.

“Staff have been to visit other staff at a school that was judged as outstanding at its previous inspection.”

Mr Torr said improvements had already taken place.

He said: “The acting headteacher has changed the timetable to ensure there is a set time in every class for reading activities to take place.

“They have changed how reading is taught to make sure the books each group of pupils is learning to read is matched to their reading abilities.

“It is too early to determine if these actions have raised standards but senior leaders have noted that pupils are more involved in and enthusiastic about reading, more confident and more fluent.”

The school, rated as good last year, was found inadequate in January. In 2012 the school was praised for major improvements in coming out of special measures for the first time since October 2007.

Comments (7)

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12:25pm Sun 25 May 14

woolywords says...

Not another failing school to become an academy! Where will it all end?

Whilst I appreciate the need to put the childs education, first, am beginning to think that there is a pattern emerging here, where failing schools become academies, by the back door.
All of the school staff are appointed by the school governing body, therefore, much of the blame for this, must lay at their feet. Yet, in none of these cases, do I see any calls for the removal of the governors, as they all agree upon academy status as being, 'the only option'. Not true, say I.
There should be a clear out of those whom have utterly failed in the duties of governance and if they had any honour, could resign before getting the boot. What a shame that the Education Authority has not the powers to get shot of them.
Shame upon them, for allowing the school to sink to this level.
Not another failing school to become an academy! Where will it all end? Whilst I appreciate the need to put the childs education, first, am beginning to think that there is a pattern emerging here, where failing schools become academies, by the back door. All of the school staff are appointed by the school governing body, therefore, much of the blame for this, must lay at their feet. Yet, in none of these cases, do I see any calls for the removal of the governors, as they all agree upon academy status as being, 'the only option'. Not true, say I. There should be a clear out of those whom have utterly failed in the duties of governance and if they had any honour, could resign before getting the boot. What a shame that the Education Authority has not the powers to get shot of them. Shame upon them, for allowing the school to sink to this level. woolywords
  • Score: 11

3:23pm Sun 25 May 14

Sue Lee says...

So the Diocese were in charge and the school dipped. So it will become an Academy, with the Diocese in charge? Who can explain that one?
So the Diocese were in charge and the school dipped. So it will become an Academy, with the Diocese in charge? Who can explain that one? Sue Lee
  • Score: 5

11:28pm Sun 25 May 14

woolywords says...

Sue Lee wrote:
So the Diocese were in charge and the school dipped. So it will become an Academy, with the Diocese in charge? Who can explain that one?
The Diocese weren't in charge, as you put it but more a conglomeration of Local Education Authority, PGA and Church appointed governors. This hotch-potch of a leadership, appointed all the school staff, including the annual reaffirmation of all positions, as part of their governance.
As parents, you really should be asking about the competence of these governors to do the job, as it is not always apparent, upon whose side that they are batting for. You will be surprised how many of them gained such elevated positions without having the requisite qualifications nor experience to hold that office.
Some will be good mates with a Councillor or just plain related to someone, that thought that they would like to do the job. You would be amazed at the gross abuse that goes on when these positions are gifted to the wrong people.
As a former school governor, not in Blackburn, my opinion is that, I'd not trust some of them to herd sheep, let alone run a school or even that, in many cases, they know more about pastel colours, than they do about pastoral care.
Such a shame that Ofsted doesn't have the remit to investigate the Governors, as deeply as they do, the school itself and by that lack of diligence, have failed all children.
Not for nothing, does this Conservative government seek to achieve Academy status for these schools, that seemed to be doing so well for so many years, to only be seen as failing now.
Amazing, what results can be reached, when you constantly move the goalposts!
[quote][p][bold]Sue Lee[/bold] wrote: So the Diocese were in charge and the school dipped. So it will become an Academy, with the Diocese in charge? Who can explain that one?[/p][/quote]The Diocese weren't in charge, as you put it but more a conglomeration of Local Education Authority, PGA and Church appointed governors. This hotch-potch of a leadership, appointed all the school staff, including the annual reaffirmation of all positions, as part of their governance. As parents, you really should be asking about the competence of these governors to do the job, as it is not always apparent, upon whose side that they are batting for. You will be surprised how many of them gained such elevated positions without having the requisite qualifications nor experience to hold that office. Some will be good mates with a Councillor or just plain related to someone, that thought that they would like to do the job. You would be amazed at the gross abuse that goes on when these positions are gifted to the wrong people. As a former school governor, not in Blackburn, my opinion is that, I'd not trust some of them to herd sheep, let alone run a school or even that, in many cases, they know more about pastel colours, than they do about pastoral care. Such a shame that Ofsted doesn't have the remit to investigate the Governors, as deeply as they do, the school itself and by that lack of diligence, have failed all children. Not for nothing, does this Conservative government seek to achieve Academy status for these schools, that seemed to be doing so well for so many years, to only be seen as failing now. Amazing, what results can be reached, when you constantly move the goalposts! woolywords
  • Score: -2

12:30am Mon 26 May 14

Steven11 says...

You can just see another onion topped building here , can't you ?
You can just see another onion topped building here , can't you ? Steven11
  • Score: -1

8:26am Mon 26 May 14

wilddog says...

So a school fails and then tries to be an academy? Talk about win win!
So a school fails and then tries to be an academy? Talk about win win! wilddog
  • Score: 0

7:43pm Mon 26 May 14

chammy says...

When will everyone realise its the quality of the teachers thats important, not the school building.
When will everyone realise its the quality of the teachers thats important, not the school building. chammy
  • Score: 2

2:59pm Wed 28 May 14

Joe Kay says...

Why don't people realise that when a school is in special measures they are forced into becoming an acadamy whether they want it or not
Why don't people realise that when a school is in special measures they are forced into becoming an acadamy whether they want it or not Joe Kay
  • Score: 2

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