Friday, 30 May 2014

Board of directors plan for Arden

ARDEN school will be overseen by a board of directors under moves to address concerns about its sponsorship of a Castle Bromwich School.

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The Knowle school wants to form a multi-academy trust (MAT) to include Park Hall School, which it is a sponsor of, from September 1.

Inspectors from Ofsted said in February that Arden gave “light touch support” to Park Hall Academy, Castle Bromwich as its sponsor school since September 2009.

It rated Park Hall inadequate in all four key areas, downgrading it from a satisfactory rating in 2012. Arden took over direct management of the school in December.

It criticised students’ progress and quality of teaching.

In a letter to parents, Arden chair of governors Dr Celia O’Donovan said: “It has been recognised that the model of governance between the two schools will need to change.”

A board of directors will “have responsibility for the MAT as a whole” but “will delegate the vast majority of the powers to run Arden to the local governing body of Arden”.

The governing body would be un-changed.

She said: “It is very important that the current ethos and values held by Arden are replicated on the new board of directors of the MAT.”

She said a MATs can boost standards, “achieve economies of scale”, attract extra funding and “very skilled teachers”.

A meeting will be at the Station Road school hall about the plans on Wednesday June 4 from 7pm to 8pm.

Ofsted said in February: “The sponsor trust has not provided the support or challenge that is needed to ensure the academy’s leaders can bring about the required improvements in teaching and standards.

“The Arden Academy has provided light touch support, although some help has recently been provided for sixth form teaching and in mathematics.”

It said: “Leaders, the governing body and the academy’s sponsor have not ensured that teaching and achievement have improved.”

Its report said students “do not make enough progress in a number of subjects” and “teachers do not always plan interesting and engaging learning activities”.

Pupils do not get “clear feedback” and staff “do not have high enough expectations of students’ behaviour”.

It said: “Leaders’ judgements on the quality of teaching are not always accurate.”

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