Academy is an option for Woodlands

Echo: Academy is an option for Woodlands Academy is an option for Woodlands

A SCHOOL placed into special measures after its ex headteacher covered up its failings is now improving – and could be transformed into an academy.

Former head AndyWhite left his role at the Woodlands School, Basildon, after Ofsted inspectors criticised it for weak teaching and falling standards in December – and said he had covered up how bad things were.

Inspectors have now been back to the school to check on progress after superhead Karen Kerridge was placed in charge – with a new governing body put in place.

They praised the school for making quick progress and inspector Jason Howard said it was taking “determined”

action to improve teaching.

He said: “The local authority has worked with the school effectively to draw up, and help to implement, clear plans for improvement.”

All schools placed in special measures by Ofsted are given the opportunity of becoming an academy.

Staff at Woodlands are considering the option by having a company or another school sponsor them.

Sponsors are responsible for the performance and finances of their school, setting up the academy trust, selecting the governing body and recruiting a headteacher. Once a headteacher is appointed, sponsors will work closely with them to run the academy.

A decision will be made by the school later this year.

Woodlands was rated inadequate and placed in special measures in December following numerous warnings about exam results by Essex County Council.

After the inspection the governing body was removed, the headteacher left and Karen Kerridge, headteacher at Applegate School in Benfleet, was brought in to oversee the school’s future.

A further inspection is expected at Woodlands in the next fewmonths.

The Echo contacted the school, but no one was available for comment.

Comments (8)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

12:40pm Mon 24 Feb 14

Jack222 says...

The government will make it an academy - they find every reason to force it to happen. It's a Gove illogical belief...
The government will make it an academy - they find every reason to force it to happen. It's a Gove illogical belief... Jack222
  • Score: 2

1:06pm Mon 24 Feb 14

Howard Cháse says...

I would advise them against it. After all we read loads of bad news and tales of woe about The Basildon Academies (Formerly Chalvedon and Barstable Schools) in the pages of The Echo.

Hideously large turnover of staff being one.

Does not seem to have done those any great favours.
I would advise them against it. After all we read loads of bad news and tales of woe about The Basildon Academies (Formerly Chalvedon and Barstable Schools) in the pages of The Echo. Hideously large turnover of staff being one. Does not seem to have done those any great favours. Howard Cháse
  • Score: 3

1:30pm Mon 24 Feb 14

daninorth says...

Outrageous ...woodlands should fight this all the way,academies are failing our children , unqualified teachers, above freedom of information,and parents have nowhere to complain when things go wrong ...I hope parents educate themselves on what this really means...a can of worms!
Outrageous ...woodlands should fight this all the way,academies are failing our children , unqualified teachers, above freedom of information,and parents have nowhere to complain when things go wrong ...I hope parents educate themselves on what this really means...a can of worms! daninorth
  • Score: 3

2:30pm Mon 24 Feb 14

DCLEIGH says...

It's so sad. Woodlands, in the late 60s, wasn't bad (despite embezzlement of school trip funds, Arson, Scandal, Robbery with violence, Violence from teachers, incompetence,drugs and vice).
We had a good time and learned nothing. We were the thin end of the wedge that soon led to classroom disruption. Yes, when I glanced through Friends Reunited 10yrs ago, most of my chums, like me, had made it good in business and were happily married. We didn't come out of school and go on to benefits, we went out and got a cr@ppy job, worked hard, got promoted, got married, got on with life and worked hard to get on IN life.
What we didn't have was Teachers who were more worried about THEIR jobs than out jobs - because they weren't under such pressure and we weren't going to go on to a scrap heap after learning 2 years worth of lessons that took 13 years to learn.
It's so sad. Woodlands, in the late 60s, wasn't bad (despite embezzlement of school trip funds, Arson, Scandal, Robbery with violence, Violence from teachers, incompetence,drugs and vice). We had a good time and learned nothing. We were the thin end of the wedge that soon led to classroom disruption. Yes, when I glanced through Friends Reunited 10yrs ago, most of my chums, like me, had made it good in business and were happily married. We didn't come out of school and go on to benefits, we went out and got a cr@ppy job, worked hard, got promoted, got married, got on with life and worked hard to get on IN life. What we didn't have was Teachers who were more worried about THEIR jobs than out jobs - because they weren't under such pressure and we weren't going to go on to a scrap heap after learning 2 years worth of lessons that took 13 years to learn. DCLEIGH
  • Score: 2

2:40pm Mon 24 Feb 14

benfleet101 says...

This whole situation begs so many questions.

If a school was so bad that it needed to be placed in special measures it seems contradictory that any new team, 'Superhead' included or not, would be able to turn it round in eight weeks. And if they do, one has to ask if it was as bad as they claimed in the first place...

We know the government is pushing for schools to become academies and rumour has been rife that a lot of the time underhanded and bully boy tactics are being used in many cases to force a schools hand into taking this route.

This story does seems to give a little credence to that theory.
This whole situation begs so many questions. If a school was so bad that it needed to be placed in special measures it seems contradictory that any new team, 'Superhead' included or not, would be able to turn it round in eight weeks. And if they do, one has to ask if it was as bad as they claimed in the first place... We know the government is pushing for schools to become academies and rumour has been rife that a lot of the time underhanded and bully boy tactics are being used in many cases to force a schools hand into taking this route. This story does seems to give a little credence to that theory. benfleet101
  • Score: 7

6:02pm Mon 24 Feb 14

leavingonajetplane says...

The term "Superhead" usually means someone who has crawled over the dead bodies / careers of his or her colleagues, torturing staff into workloads that break every rule in the book, cut failing students into "college courses" to remove them from statistics, and firing anybody that disagrees with their approach. Add to this the sudden upward bump in funding given to such people for pet projects and hiring like minded people when academy status appears (the funding usually disappears not long after the "Superhead" does), and you have the situation Woodlands is in and will move into. I can almost bet a deputy from the "Superhead's" school will take the position of new Head.
The term "Superhead" usually means someone who has crawled over the dead bodies / careers of his or her colleagues, torturing staff into workloads that break every rule in the book, cut failing students into "college courses" to remove them from statistics, and firing anybody that disagrees with their approach. Add to this the sudden upward bump in funding given to such people for pet projects and hiring like minded people when academy status appears (the funding usually disappears not long after the "Superhead" does), and you have the situation Woodlands is in and will move into. I can almost bet a deputy from the "Superhead's" school will take the position of new Head. leavingonajetplane
  • Score: 4

6:11pm Mon 24 Feb 14

leavingonajetplane says...

Benfleet101, you cannot turn a school around in 8 weeks. You are right. What everybody looks for is some positive aspect to show some progress so there is a good news story. What would have happened is that the "Superhead" would have made the staff terrified for their jobs and future, making them stay long into the evening (or at home) writing up new schemes of work, new ways of assessing students and colleagues, and monitoring progress according to test driven predicted outcomes. Each teacher probably had to assess each child and develop a plan to hit progress predictions etc. This, technically, is progress. You can only push it so far though, and after a few years, without replacing staff by those owing direct loyalty to the new Head (especially young bodies eager for promotion and without families tying them down) and driving up the academic ability of pupils by selection (which, as we know, does not take place on induction evenings lolol) it never sticks in the long run.
Benfleet101, you cannot turn a school around in 8 weeks. You are right. What everybody looks for is some positive aspect to show some progress so there is a good news story. What would have happened is that the "Superhead" would have made the staff terrified for their jobs and future, making them stay long into the evening (or at home) writing up new schemes of work, new ways of assessing students and colleagues, and monitoring progress according to test driven predicted outcomes. Each teacher probably had to assess each child and develop a plan to hit progress predictions etc. This, technically, is progress. You can only push it so far though, and after a few years, without replacing staff by those owing direct loyalty to the new Head (especially young bodies eager for promotion and without families tying them down) and driving up the academic ability of pupils by selection (which, as we know, does not take place on induction evenings lolol) it never sticks in the long run. leavingonajetplane
  • Score: 2

11:04pm Mon 24 Feb 14

E.C.M. says...

Of course the school is now improving, every member of staff is working way beyond a level that is sustainable long term, because of the predicament Woodlands has found itself in!

This fact, coupled with the move to the new-build a fortnight ago and consequently, the feel good factor generated, will automatically ensure progress continues.

If ever there was a school ‘groomed’ to become an Academy and Mr. Gove to be lauded for the improvement in ‘qualifications’
… this is it!

Errr, I foresee another ‘examination factory’, with absolutely no interest in children or ‘education’!
Of course the school is now improving, every member of staff is working way beyond a level that is sustainable long term, because of the predicament Woodlands has found itself in! This fact, coupled with the move to the new-build a fortnight ago and consequently, the feel good factor generated, will automatically ensure progress continues. If ever there was a school ‘groomed’ to become an Academy and Mr. Gove to be lauded for the improvement in ‘qualifications’ … this is it! Errr, I foresee another ‘examination factory’, with absolutely no interest in children or ‘education’! E.C.M.
  • Score: 3

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree