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.

Football manager syndrome | analogy pt2

Principal led his ‘team’ with style

Thursday 12th September 2013 in letters, Andover Advertiser

I am writing to offer another perspective to the story on your front page of 6 September about Wellington Academy. One commentator said “education is a business, like football” – presumably to justify Andy Schofield being treated like a football manager whose chairman had run out of patience.  It would be easy if education was, indeed, a business like Premiership football.  The heads would select and buy students, train and coach them to do one thing, ie play football and then, if they failed to score enough goals for the club to get up the league table, send them off on a free transfer.

What Andy Schofield said at Wellington Academy was that anyone who turns up will get a game.  His players were just sent to his club, he couldn’t and wouldn’t pick and choose.  Andy Schofield never sent any of his footballers away on a free transfer.  He kept them all at the club, even when they turned up with no kit or were too exhausted to play because they had had nothing to eat since training the day before.  He kept them when they had never seen a ball before or weren’t sure of the offside rule.  He even took the occasional player who had been thrown out of someone else’s club. Some of his players came from overseas and, when they arrived, couldn’t understand what the coaches were saying.

And more and more players chose to come to the club because they liked Andy Schofield’s style of football and they loved the club.  Did he make the club Premier League in five (sic) years?  Of course not.  Did all his players become Rodney Marsh?  Of course not.  But they ended up much better footballers than they would have been at other clubs and had skills that enabled them to move on and enjoy productive lives as good citizens.  Sadly, the sponsor on the shirts was Wellington College and this year Andy’s fabulous, raggle taggle footballers became too much of an embarrassment for those in the directors’ box.

The word education comes from the Latin e-ducere, meaning to lead out.  Andy Schofield’s style of education does just that – it leads out of the children the best of their potential.  He, too, is a skilled educationalist, and his wide experience comes from state school education.  I hope that when next year’s results are published there is an acknowledgement that 80 per cent of those students’ education will have been under the headship of Andy Schofield.

He did great things at Wellington Academy. He deserved much more and there should be sorrow for what has been lost.

Name and address supplied, Andover

© Copyright 2001-2013 Newsquest Media Group

This weekend’s news

TES 6th Sept: Wellington Academy: questions raised over Head’s departure after impressive A level results

Local Schools Network: Head of sponsored academy falls on his sword after poor GCSE results: Is this fair?

Andover Advertiser Sainsburys

Andover Advertiser 6th Sept: Academy Head in Sudden Exit (see below for content)

Salisbury Journal 5th Sept: Wellington Academy headteacher steps down

Interview with Chair of GB – not sacked!

BBC Radio Wilts Drive Time News 2nd September

David Cowley, Chair of GB, explains it all  at 1.05.40 to 1.11.10 on the podcast

“ keep referring to Mr Schofield being sacked, that has not happened.  Mr Schofield has left the academy.”

‘Well can I ask, if he wasn’t sacked, what happened?’

“The results were, as I’ve said, and it’s not just the results, it’s the lead up to the results, I, er, we, er, in discussion, and we’re still in discussion, but technically speaking, ehm, the form of those discussions has to remain confidential to me, Mr Schofield and the Academy.”

@RealGeoffBarton comments at 2.09.01 to 2.14.00

See Wellington Academy page on this blog for a slightly more balanced view on our results for 2013

Coverage of last Friday’s news

TES 6th Sept: Wellington Academy: questions raised over Head’s departure after impressive A level results

Salisbury Journal 5th Sept: Wellington Academy headteacher steps down

Western Daily Press Sept 4th: Head leaves trial academy

Tidworth Councillor Mark Connolly, ex-Academy governor and ex-Chair of Castledown School Governors

Spire FM 3rd Sept: Wellington Academy Principal leaves after results decline

Times 3rd Sept: Wellington College delay Academy plans

Daily Telegraph 3rd Sept: Dr Anthony Seldon parachuted in

Independent 2nd Sept: Head of Wellington Academy forced out

Andover Advertiser 30th Aug: New regime at Wellington Academy

TES Aug 30: Head leaves Wellington Academy 

Today’s news

More later – for the time being in the hands of ASCL

Press Release from Chair of Governors

Record A-level success at Academy

A level press release 2013