Council and union defend Cecil Jones role for superhead

Echo: Council and union defend Cecil Jones role for superhead Council and union defend Cecil Jones role for superhead

SOUTHEND Council and a teachers’ union have defended the appointment of Shoeburyness High School’s head to turn around a Southend school.

Mark Schofield was given the executive head role at Cecil Jones College by the council when former headteacher Pauline Harris resigned at the end of term.

She brought the school out of special measures in 2012.

A prominent member of the community has now raised questions about the choice of Mr Schofield, who will be responsible for both schools with a total pupil roll of 3,000.

The concerned man, who asked to remain anonymous, holds a senior role in Southend borough and suggested Shoeburyness High needs to concentrate on improving its own results before taking on a second school.

Its five A* to C grades including English and maths is 44 per cent, up 2 per cent on the previous year.

He said: “Usually someone who runs an outstanding school takes on a role like this, but Shoeburyness High is not outstanding, it is rated good.

“Its ownGCSE results are 44 per cent against a national target of 45 per cent. Statistics don’t lie.

“I’d say Mr Schofield needs to get his own house in order as it’s not meeting Government standards.

“It’s a bizarre choice for me. I’m not questioning Mr Schofield’s abilities, but I question the council which appointed him “I believe this is a reasonable concern to raise. What will the impact be on the pupils in his own school and is this is the right solution for Cecil Jones?”

However, both the council and the National Union of Teachers have defended the decision.

Jerry Glazier, NUT regional representative, said: “Shoeburyness High has done extremely well over the past few years to improve standards and all in a challenging part of the borough.

“He has shown real capability to do what he can to get maximum achievements from pupils.

“Judging by GCSE results alone is not the best way. It was one of the top 100 most improved schools in the country.”

James Courtenay, councillor responsible for children and learning, said: “This is a valid concern, but Shoeburyness is in the top 100 most improved schools.

“It is of limited use to only look at one year’s exam results in isolation.

“The work Mark Schofield has done is good, therefore it is helpful to have him in the short-term overseeing the work at Cecil Jones.

“He is the right sort of head to do that. He has the skills and experience, otherwise we wouldn’t have appointed him.

“There is a strong leadership behind Mark that is more than capable of carrying on with his direction in his absence.

“If we thought pupils were going to suffer, we would not have suggested him.

“I have no concerns about the achievements of his pupils at all.”

He added the experience would also help Mr Schofield share best practice and widen his own skills further.

If any issues were flagged up, Mr Courtenay said additional resources would be put in place.

The Echo tried to contact Mark Schofield, but he was unavailable for comment.

Comments (5)

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12:55pm Fri 3 Jan 14

fletch12107 says...

Time and exam results will tell.
Time and exam results will tell. fletch12107

1:36pm Fri 3 Jan 14

Democrat says...

fletch12107 wrote:
Time and exam results will tell.
It is true that 'time and exam results will tell', but if it all goes wrong on Results Day, what about the kids whose futures were gambled with?

In many ways Jerry Glazier is a typical Union spokesman, that is jumping on a hypocritical bandwagon whenever an opportunity arises. Yes he is a National Union of Teachers representative encouraging strike action when he thinks no-one is taking notice, but at the same time being a Board Member of the Academies Enterprise Trust. So he was telling his union members in his own 60+ schools to strike!

Do you want a man like this to be involved in the appointment of a 'good' school head to sort out Cecil Jones?
[quote][p][bold]fletch12107[/bold] wrote: Time and exam results will tell.[/p][/quote]It is true that 'time and exam results will tell', but if it all goes wrong on Results Day, what about the kids whose futures were gambled with? In many ways Jerry Glazier is a typical Union spokesman, that is jumping on a hypocritical bandwagon whenever an opportunity arises. Yes he is a National Union of Teachers representative encouraging strike action when he thinks no-one is taking notice, but at the same time being a Board Member of the Academies Enterprise Trust. So he was telling his union members in his own 60+ schools to strike! Do you want a man like this to be involved in the appointment of a 'good' school head to sort out Cecil Jones? Democrat

6:23pm Fri 3 Jan 14

Southchurch75 says...

The local authority has a very poor record in turning round failing schools. The three senior schools still under their control (Chase, Futures, Cecil Jones) have all had significant difficulties and are still at considerable risk. All the other secondary schools converted to academies as fast as they could to escape the clutches and poor management from the local authority education department. Millions of pounds were pumped into Chase and Futures as fresh start schools. If one were to consider the return on investment as measured by the current position of both schools then the taxpayer and more importantly the students who have passed through their doors have had a very raw deal indeed! Investment from the local authority to enable Cecil Jones to be removed from special measures was negligible compared to the millions spent on the other failing schools.
James Courtenay has said that "if any issues were flagged up then additional resources would be put in place." Quite clearly the local authority has identified issues, otherwise the current situation would not have arisen. How much and what will they make available? I wonder what the sequence of events was...resignation of Pauline Harris and immediate appointment of Mark Schofield or decision to appoint Mark Schofield while Pauline Harris was still in situ? I know which one my money's on!!
Turning to the matter of a "Superhead". What defines one? Usually it's a solid track record of turning schools around and by definition quite a maverick character. Mark Schofield has no recorded experience of turning a school around.
The local authority may well come to regret their actions but in the meantime students and staff have to deal with yet more disruption and upheaval and my sympathy goes out to them.
Finally, Cecil Jones Governors....what are you doing about all of this?
The local authority has a very poor record in turning round failing schools. The three senior schools still under their control (Chase, Futures, Cecil Jones) have all had significant difficulties and are still at considerable risk. All the other secondary schools converted to academies as fast as they could to escape the clutches and poor management from the local authority education department. Millions of pounds were pumped into Chase and Futures as fresh start schools. If one were to consider the return on investment as measured by the current position of both schools then the taxpayer and more importantly the students who have passed through their doors have had a very raw deal indeed! Investment from the local authority to enable Cecil Jones to be removed from special measures was negligible compared to the millions spent on the other failing schools. James Courtenay has said that "if any issues were flagged up then additional resources would be put in place." Quite clearly the local authority has identified issues, otherwise the current situation would not have arisen. How much and what will they make available? I wonder what the sequence of events was...resignation of Pauline Harris and immediate appointment of Mark Schofield or decision to appoint Mark Schofield while Pauline Harris was still in situ? I know which one my money's on!! Turning to the matter of a "Superhead". What defines one? Usually it's a solid track record of turning schools around and by definition quite a maverick character. Mark Schofield has no recorded experience of turning a school around. The local authority may well come to regret their actions but in the meantime students and staff have to deal with yet more disruption and upheaval and my sympathy goes out to them. Finally, Cecil Jones Governors....what are you doing about all of this? Southchurch75

12:43pm Sat 4 Jan 14

leedthered79 says...

Was **** school 20 years ago and is still **** school nowand will still be in 10 years time
Was **** school 20 years ago and is still **** school nowand will still be in 10 years time leedthered79

2:02pm Fri 10 Jan 14

BinDipper says...

Cecil are lucky they are getting a head at all. Down the road at Futures, everything is in a poor state, yet another interim head has taken over despite the previous one doing a pretty good job from what I could see as a parent.

Teacher turnover is at an all time high, 6 have left in December and currently looking at several cover and supply teachers will be coaching my daughter through her final year of GCSEs rather than committed and supportive permanent staff.

It feels like education in Southend is very badly run and as Democrat says above, our children's futures are being gambled with. I have been telling my wife for years we should move out of the borough for the sake of our children's education, I think it's too late now.

Good luck Cecil and Shoebury parents, welcome to the SBC education disaster bandwagon.
Cecil are lucky they are getting a head at all. Down the road at Futures, everything is in a poor state, yet another interim head has taken over despite the previous one doing a pretty good job from what I could see as a parent. Teacher turnover is at an all time high, 6 have left in December and currently looking at several cover and supply teachers will be coaching my daughter through her final year of GCSEs rather than committed and supportive permanent staff. It feels like education in Southend is very badly run and as Democrat says above, our children's futures are being gambled with. I have been telling my wife for years we should move out of the borough for the sake of our children's education, I think it's too late now. Good luck Cecil and Shoebury parents, welcome to the SBC education disaster bandwagon. BinDipper

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