St Clere’s boss sees bright future for partner school

By Local Democracy Reporter

Piers Meyler

THE government has spent £80,000 to help Brentwood County High School with a fresh start – after a poor Ofsted report that slammed its quality of teaching.

Brentwood County High School was transferred to Osborne Cooperative Academy Trust- formerly known as St Clere’s Co-Operative Academies Trust – in September 2017, with the help of an £80,000 grant.

The process known as “re-brokering,” which can only be done on the agreement of the Regional Schools Commissioner, was initiated after BCHS was told it required improvement after Ofsted inspectors highlighted a number of failings.

These included how the quality of teaching, learning and assessment was not consistently strong, resulting in pupils not making enough progress.

Paul Griffiths, chief exceutive of Osborne Cooperative Academy Trust, said: “Originally St Clere’s and Brentwood County High School were in talks for about 18 months about joining together and how together we’d be stronger than on our own.

“The problem arose after the ‘requires improvement’ inspection at Brentwood County High.

“We wanted to give Brentwood County High a fresh start – so instead of simply joining they were rebrokered into us as a fresh start school.”

The money has been used to pay for the cost of that transfer, software updates and leadership support.

He added: “The process was initiated by us – we sought the grant and showed why the grant would be useful.

“We were in a position that we felt there was more to do and it all combined with this offer of a fresh start status which is great news for Brentwood to have a fresh start and to be able to look positively to the future.”

He now predicts the school will be given a ‘good’ rating by Ofsted within a year with the added support the trust can provide.

He added: “Most schools use cover teachers but cover teacher are not the best way to keep continuity.

“We can offer staff to fill places where they may have had to use supply staff and that continuity is so important when you are trying to give a school a fresh start.”

He added: “For some years it has not been as good as it could be. But one of the things that we as trust has been able to do is improve all the schools that we have taken on and have them back to ‘good’ in two years.

“I think you need to look out for the results this year , both a level and at GCSE.

“The GCSE results are going to move the school to where the school has been a negative for pupil progress to a positive for pupil progress and attainment will go up this year compared to where it was last year.”

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