Council steps in to support three academy schools

Council steps in to support three academy schools

Reporter:

Michael Owens

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Council steps in to support three academy schools
Cllr Phillip Bicknell

A dip in exam results at three academies in Maidenhead has seen them identified as 'schools causing concern' by the Royal Borough.

It has challenged Altwood CE Secondary School in Altwood Road, Cox Green Academy in Highfield Lane and Desborough College in Shoppenhangers Road to join its support programme.

The move has been prompted by exam results in the 2011/12 academic year falling below the national average.

Letters were sent to the headteachers last week 'inviting them' to participate.

Cll Phillip Bicknell, cabinet member for children's services, said: "These are not failing schools, they are just not getting the outcomes we want for our young people.

"Although the academies are not under LEA control, it is still the authority's duty to make sure all children in the borough get an adequate education."

He believes the borough offers the most effective and best value programme to get results.

Schools will be offered support from the council's education and childcare advisory service or the private sector, which they would have to pay for.

A team would go in to the school and put a full support programme in place unless the council is satisfied key steps have already been taken.

If the request is ignored or refused, school governors, trustees and sponsors would be informed about the council's concerns. Ofsted and the Government would also be notified.

A statement from Altwood said it would continue to work with the borough to ensure the best outcome for its pupils.

Desborough principal Paul Frazer said: "We are of course prepared to continue to work with RBWM to see what benefits they can bring to us."

Cox Green headteacher Heidi Swidenbank could not be contacted as the Advertiser went to press.

Cllr Bicknell added: "Ninety per cent of children in the borough go to a school that is good or better according to Ofsted.

"I would like all schools in the borough to be outstanding."

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