‘Candid’ academy talks

Latest local news from Andover Advertiser, October 4th

Tidworth councillor Mark Connolly (formerly the chair of governors of the predecessor school to Wellington Academy, as well as an Academy governor until last summer – and most recently the advocate of football manager syndrome, see Advertiser 6th Sept) told town councillors that he has held a meeting with Anthony Seldon, the master of Wellington College, to discuss the situation at Wellington Academy following the departure of principal Andy Schofield.

Cllr Connolly, who represents Tidworth at County Hall, said: “It was a candid meeting.  We (sic) were heartened by the things we heard about discipline which may have been a bit lacking in recent times.  There are not going to be any quick changes at the top – Mike Milner will continue in post until a new principal is appointed.”

He added that the governors may take some time to make the right choice.  (All very odd, given the recent advertisement for the post in the TES and Guardian.)

Plans for the academy to expand have also emerged, with a new sixth form block open on the nearby Castledown Business Park – freeing up around 300 additional places in the main academy building.  Meanwhile in Tidworth work on a new primary school is expected to begin in November on the North East Quadrant housing site. (Due to open September 2014, sponsored by Wellington College).

Still making local headlines

Principal must be reinstated (letter Andover Advertiser, Sept 20)

I felt I had to write to add my voice to last week’s correspondence concerning Andy Schofield and the Wellington Academy.

The front page story of 6 September gave the impression that Mr Schofield left the Academy following poor GCSE results.  Yet in your paper of 13 September (under the headline “Ensuring all pupils strive to succeed”) was a very different view of the results.  It seems that 93 per cent of Wellington students achieved five or more A* -C grades in GCSE and 77 per cent achieved eight ormore A* -C.

These results seem extremely good for a non-selective state school and would accord with your previous correspondent’s view that the students of WellingtonAcademy get enough exam passes to move on in life.

They may not all be in the GCSE subjects valued by Dr Seldon and Wellington College but, for some kids, they are more than enough to begin to break the cycle of social deprivation.

If I were still an Academy parent I would be petitioning the governors to bring back Andy Schofield, as I feel he has been unjustly forced out for reasons that, in light of the above, are now unclear.

I know anecdotes aren’t evidence, but I would like to share the following with your readers. My son was given a place in the Wellington Academy sixth form when no other post-16 educational opportunity was available.  He enjoyed his year there. made valuable progress in core subjects and took the Applied Learning Construction course.  This enabled him to get a place on a training scheme with a major house-builder and he is learning valuable skills for today’s job market.

Clerking governors – great blog

Great blog on supporting governors

Getting to good: Ofsted words of wisdom

Improving Schools: a guide to Ofsted reports to support school improvement, Sept 2012

Getting to good: how headteachers achieve success, September 2012

Schools that stay satisfactory:  an analysis of secondary schools that have stayed satisfactory for more than one inspection and the reasons for this, December 2011

Excellence in English,  May 2011

Moving English forward, March 2012

Removing barriers to literacy, January 2011

Reading by six how the best schools do it,  November 2010

Mathematics made to measure, May 2012

Mathematics – understanding the score, September 2008

Successful science, September 2011

No place for bullying, June 2012   No place for bullying – summary leaflet

No place for bullying – case study booklet

Supporting children with challenging behaviour through a nurture group approach, July 2011

School governance: learning from the best, May 2012

Personal- social- health and economic education in schools, July 2010

And still relevant:

Twelve outstanding secondary schools, February 2009

Twenty outstanding primary schools, October 2009

Twelve outstanding special schools – Excelling through inclusion, November 2009


Good ideas on youth crime

Last week’s rioting and some of the knee-jerk reaction reminded me that one of our governors, Anthony Salz, chaired an independent commission into youth crime and antisocial behaviour last year.  The report entitled Time for a fresh start, takes an unusually thoughtful look at this vexed area and is worthy of wider consideration.

Earlier this year, Anthony was appointed as lead non-executive board member at the Department for Education.

Time for a fresh start


Time for a fresh start – summary for young people



Health & Safety myths

Here’s the link to the new health & safety executive papers on 10 myths

New DfE health & safety advice published

The DfE have published their promised guide lines into removing some of the burdens on schools.  The media have focussed on the bits about school trips, but there’s more than that in the announcement.

H&S advice 2011

They refer to a new Health and Safety Executive (HSE) document School trips and outdoor learning activities: Tackling the health and safety myths, which I’ve yet to track down.

I await their revised guidelines on safeguarding with interest.