Warning over future of crisis-hit school

Stephen Capper

Stephen Capper

First published in Echo News Exclusive by

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.”

Comments (5)

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6:45am Mon 28 Apr 14

carnmountyouknowitmakessense says...

3 - 5 years to turn around ? Capper no doubt a flapper, get someone who can do the job.
3 - 5 years to turn around ? Capper no doubt a flapper, get someone who can do the job. carnmountyouknowitmakessense
  • Score: -5

10:43am Mon 28 Apr 14

jayman says...

carnmountyouknowitma
kessense
wrote:
3 - 5 years to turn around ? Capper no doubt a flapper, get someone who can do the job.
Instead, let's vote in a council that can manage schools properly. Southend tories focus on selective grammars and seem to show utter complacency towards the state schools that are in their portfolio.
[quote][p][bold]carnmountyouknowitma kessense[/bold] wrote: 3 - 5 years to turn around ? Capper no doubt a flapper, get someone who can do the job.[/p][/quote]Instead, let's vote in a council that can manage schools properly. Southend tories focus on selective grammars and seem to show utter complacency towards the state schools that are in their portfolio. jayman
  • Score: -1

1:02pm Mon 28 Apr 14

Jack222 says...

OFSTED is a waste of time.
OFSTED is a waste of time. Jack222
  • Score: -1

10:45pm Mon 28 Apr 14

Southchurch75 says...

It's interesting that the Ofsted report was also critical of the Local Authority. It states that the school's action plan was fit for purpose, but the plan from the Local Authority was not fit for purpose. What does Southend Education Department have to say about that? This was cited in 2 successive Ofsted monitoring visits. It's easy to get rid of the head teacher and try to deflect blame!
It's interesting that the Ofsted report was also critical of the Local Authority. It states that the school's action plan was fit for purpose, but the plan from the Local Authority was not fit for purpose. What does Southend Education Department have to say about that? This was cited in 2 successive Ofsted monitoring visits. It's easy to get rid of the head teacher and try to deflect blame! Southchurch75
  • Score: 3

6:57pm Tue 29 Apr 14

EscapingEssex says...

What a pile of bulls..t! That insane institution has been in special measures, on and off, for 20 years! I know of other teachers seriously injured in the school by students, and almost riot situations. They replace the Head, sack teachers, and each Head does it to build his or her reputation and career. Nobody chooses to send their kids to Thorpe Bay. "Thorpe Bay! Your education is over from the first day!"
What a pile of bulls..t! That insane institution has been in special measures, on and off, for 20 years! I know of other teachers seriously injured in the school by students, and almost riot situations. They replace the Head, sack teachers, and each Head does it to build his or her reputation and career. Nobody chooses to send their kids to Thorpe Bay. "Thorpe Bay! Your education is over from the first day!" EscapingEssex
  • Score: 1

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