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Carlisle Academy in special measures

Chief executive Peter Noble and director Mark Yearsley have left Carlisle's troubled academy after a damning Ofsted report.

yearsley noble photo
Mark Yearsley, left and Peter Noble

Around 400 parents were told the news as they packed the Richard Rose Central Academy last night to hear the results of an Ofsted inspection.

Chief Executive Peter Noble and director Mark Yearsley have gone, to be replaced with former Trinity head Mike Gibbons and NCTC teacher Russell Wallace.

News of their departure was met with applause from the hundreds of parents who packed into the Harraby school theatre.

Mr Gibbons will be chief executive and Mr Wallace director.  Both have been appointed for four months.

Ofsted inspectors graded the academy as 4 - inadequate - plunging it into special measures just five months after it opened.  Each of the five main areas they looked at; overall effectiveness, achievement and standards, personal development and well being, quality of provision, and leadership and management - achieved grade 4.

Inspectors said senior leaders had "underestimated the levels of challenge presented by amalgamating two schools serving different communities" and were unable to win the confidence of the pupils and large numbers of parents.

Ninety per cent of responses from parents who filled in Ofsted questionnaires raised serious concerns about children’s welfare, safety and education.

"The quality of teaching is inadequate overall and the action taken to improve it too slow," the report said.

"Pupils are not making the progress they should due to the variable quality of teaching, negative attitude to learning and the behaviour of a significant minority of pupils who disrupt the learning of others.

"Staff absence is on the increase, resulting in a lack of continuity in teaching. This is a major anxiety of pupils and parents and the evidence shows they are right to be concerned."

Under special measures, the academy will now be subject to close government scrutiny and regular visits from inspectors to ensure progress is made at a desired rate.

Academy sponsor Brian Scowcroft said they 'fully accepted' the Ofsted findings and wanted to reassure students, parents, teachers and the community that they were addressing the issues raised.

He said he saw the Ofsted report as a 'helpful and positive step along the road to achieving our goals.'

"While we would have preferred not to be the subject of special measures we believe that this will help drive forward our progress," he said.

“I have absolute confidence that we now have the right person to lead the Federation and to bring about rapid improvements at the Central Academy." 

He paid tribute to both Mr Noble and Mr Yearsley and thanked them for their work.

"This academy has a unique set of circumstances with a diverse and challenging set of social and educational issues," he said.

"Mr Noble has tackled head-on the toughest challenges faced at the Central Academy and across the Federation, and brought about some changes that will prove essential to long-term success."

"Mark Yearsley has made a significant contribution to the establishment of Central Academy and in leading one of its predecessor schools out of special measures. "

In a statement, Stewart Young, Leader of Cumbria County Council, said the Ofsted findings came as no surprise.

"This has clearly been a difficult start for the Richard Rose Central Academy," he said.

"Even though the Academy is not under the control of the local authority and we have no direct powers to intervene, we have been in close contact with the Academy sponsors and have offered our support.

"A school improvement team from the Department for Children, Schools and Families will now be working with the Academy to make the necessary improvements. [Council assistance for Year 11 pupils] could include out of school hours tuition, direct support in core subjects and assessment for learning to intensive action to help social and emotional aspects of learning."

Mr Young said the change of management was something parents had been calling for and the council hoped it would give the academy the opportunity for a fresh start.

"Lessons need to be learned and they need to listen more to parents, staff and pupils in the future. If any further support is needed, we are ready and willing to provide it.," he added.


Have your say

The following indicates some of what is going on behind academy schools. The video 'Ark Schools, Academies and Eugenics' is well worth watching. It is important to note the links in the text box on the youtube video and that it was reported in parliament that 'Teens and Toddlers' (which runs the 'sustainability replication programme' and is funded by ARK, Absolute Return for Kids, who sponsor academies) was the preferred option of cabinet ministers.

Also, valuable information is in the article 'Academy Schools, reinvigorating education or the sinister programming of children?'

Everyone needs to know that a eugenics/euthenics agenda is being instituted in these schools and elsewhere.
Links here:

Posted by Caz on 16 June 2009 at 10:48

i am a pupil at the richard rose morton acedemy and i know that it has its complications but the thing is we shouldnt be having the slightest complications at all i am in year 11 and i personaly think that the richard rose academys should of been left alone as there old schools, morton school had just been brought out of special measures why didnt they give us a chance to learn?? all the people that introduced the academy's in the first place should be ashamed to have suggested it in the first place because all they have done is destroyed mine and my peers chance of getting a GCSE grade what are we ment to do now?? i would like to know! i am also out raged with the richard rose central academy my step sister goes there and all i can say is i am determined to actually teach the pupils myself because they are not learning anything really i would like to see morton and st.aidens go back to normal because both schools and year 11 at this present moment have no!! chance of achieving anything at all!!

Posted by d on 7 February 2009 at 15:25

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