Relief for 'academy threat' Darwen school
4:22pm Monday 22nd October 2012 in News
STAFF at a Darwen primary school breathed a huge sigh of relief after getting a ‘good’ Ofsted report – putting an end to plans to turn the school into an academy.
Holy Trinity in Bank Top had come on to the Department for Education’s radar after falling beneath government targets.
The school had received back-to-back ‘satisfactory’ Ofsted reports and had fallen below the department’s objective of Level Four English and maths.
The Government can force schools to become academies if they do not reach acceptable levels.
Headteacher Mark Standen said the school had been through a difficult period.
“We were trying to sort out our teaching and make everything right for the kids,” he said.
“But the DfE was encouraging the governors to become an academy.
“I am utterly against academies. I don’t agree with them full stop. I just think they are immoral.
“I like having the local authority and being able to call on them for services and expertise.
“This school has been through the mill in recent years and it needs continuity, not a massive change.”
Mr Standen paid tribute to the council and his staff who had helped stave off the academy proposals.
He said: “We saw a massive turnaround in our SAT results and that was followed by the ‘good’ Ofsted, which basically told the DfE to ‘go away’.
“It was awful, but we had brilliant support from the council who fought our corner. Our school inspection officer Ian Mason was excellent.
“It was a great team effort from all the staff.”
Clare Henderson, lead inspector for Ofsted, said in her report: “The views of pupils who say, ‘it is like a second home to me’, encapsulate the high quality of relationships, care and support.
“Behaviour and safety are good and pupils say they feel safe and very well cared for.
“The quality of teaching is good. All staff really live out the school motto, ‘no child left behind’, in the dedication and commitment they provide.”