Major changes as Doncaster school put in special measures

New leadership has been appointed to a Doncaster primary school after it was placed in special measures by Ofsted.

Friday, 13th January 2017, 08:34 am
Updated Friday, 13th January 2017, 08:56 am
Pix: Shaun Flannery/ COPYRIGHT PICTURE>>SHAUN FLANNERY>01302-570814>>07778315553>> 16th December 2016 Willow Academy Alston Road, Bessacarr, Doncaster Interim Head Davina Sumner pictured with pupils L-R

Willow Academy sponsor Wakefield City Academies Trust issued the reassurance to parents after Ofsted placed it in special measure after an inspection in November.

WCAT’s interim Chief Executive Officer Mike Ramsay said experienced leader Davina Sumner had made an immediate impact since her appointment.

The governing body of the school at Alston Road, Bessacarr, has also been replaced with an interim executive committee.

“We accept the inspectors’ findings and have acted swiftly to ensure the academy is turned around as quickly as possible,” Mr Ramsay said.

“Mrs Sumner brings to the role plenty of experience from being a member of leadership teams across the Trust. Working with the staff, she’s already made great strides and I’m confident about the positive impact she will make to the academy and, most importantly, to the children’s education.

“She was actually appointed on an interim basis one week before inspectors arrived. The report makes reference to Mrs Sumner having a ‘clear understanding of the significant challenges facing the school’. The report also acknowledges the Trust has strengthened the level of support to the academy to help improvement.

“What we and Mrs Sumner are focused on is moving forward. She’s already held informal meetings with parents and is making much-needed and improved changes to the curriculum for the start of the new term.I wish her well in her new role.”

Mrs Sumner said: “Willow Academy has a huge amount of potential and I’m certain, with support and help from staff and parents, it can be turned around very quickly indeed.

“While the academy has been put into special measures, pupils’ personal development, behaviour and welfare plus early years provision were both graded ‘requires improvement’, rather than ‘inadequate’.”