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Warning over future of crisis-hit school
A CRISIS-HIT school could take five years to turn around, its former head has warned.
Stephen Capper left Futures Community College last October after inspectors branded it “inadequate” and criticised it for not improving enough.
The former head has defended his record, claiming the school was already making progress under his leadership.
Mr Capper, who was in the post for just a year, said: “I came in to do a job over a year, and I was proud of what I achieved “It will take three to five years for the school to turn around.”
Southend Council hired Mr Capper on a one-year contract and chose not to renew it after inspectors highlighted the school’s “serious weaknesses” last October. In February this year, it replaced the school’s governing body.
An Ofsted inspection in 2010 rated the Southchurch school “satisfactory”.
Mr Capper said governors expected inspectors to put the school into special measures after a later visit in November 2012 led to an “inadequate” rating.
He claims the fact this didn’t happen was a measure of his success in making improvements.
The former head said there were problems with the quality of teaching, leadership and management at the school, but argued he had no time to change things before last summer’s disappointing GCSE results and the final inspection before his contract ended.
Mr Capper is now working to help bring a Kent school out of special measures. He said Futures had more teachers than the number of pupils warranted, and said he only employed two new staff – both to leadership roles.
His successor, Stuart Reynolds, has laid off several teachers and declined to renew the contracts of others. As a result 22 of its 43 staff are expected to have left by this July.
Mr Capper said: “The school had been in difficulties for some time, for two years or more. Those were not difficulties of my making and it takes time to shift that.
“That was my point to the inspector. We needed time to make those changes. He was not convinced and wrote quite a severe report.
“At that point, we were talking about my contract and we all felt it was time for a shift in gear and for someone new to come in.”
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