Stoke Gifford’s Abbeywood Community School, recently put into ‘special measures’ by Ofsted, looks set to become an academy within the same trust that has operated Bradley Stoke Community School (BSCS) since the beginning of the year.
Dave Baker, headteacher at BSCS, has been running Abbeywood since Ann Duff, the previous head, left suddenly in October last year. Since taking the helm, Mr Baker has introduced a “get tough” policy in an effort to improve discipline at the troubled school, which had previously received a ‘notice to improve’ from Ofsted following an inspection in October 2010.
Ofsted inspectors visited Abbeywood again in December last year and concluded in their report that the school was “failing to give its pupils an acceptable standard of education”.
The Secretary of State for Education has powers to force any school placed into ‘special measures’ to become an academy but the Abbeywood governors have pre-empted any such act of compulsion by voting unanimously to:
“… seek the Secretary of State’s support and approval for the conversion of Abbeywood Community School to academy status under the leadership and sponsorship of The Olympus Academy Trust which runs Bradley Stoke Community School.”
Subject to the minister’s approval of the proposed conversion, a full consultation process will be carried out by the school.
The governors also revealed their desire for Mr Baker to continue his role at Abbeywood by adding:
“This will ensure that the improvement work which has already started under Dave Baker’s executive leadership, and which was acknowledged in the inspection report, can continue beyond this academic year.”
“There will be significant benefits for both schools and the local community in working together in this way, not least in maintaining the integrity of post 16 provision within the Concorde Partnership.”
With Mr Baker spending a lot of time over in Stoke Gifford, governors at BSCS decided in November last year to shift former Deputy Headteacher Jenny Sutton Kirby into a new ‘Associate Headteacher’ role to “ensure that there is clear leadership in the school on a day-to-day basis”.
Prior to being put into ‘special measures’, Abbeywood had said it wasn’t interested in joining a proposed academy partnership with BSCS, Patchway Community College and Brimsham Green School.
The Patchway and Brimsham Green schools eventually dropped out leaving BSCS to go it alone and convert to an academy in “a federation of one” on 1st January 2012.
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