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Head: Academy status will push up standards at failing Pitsea school
THE headteacher of a primary school in special measures says it is being pushed towards becoming an academy in a bid to raise standards.
Yesterday, Diane Pilgrim, the Briscoe head, and Debbie Rogan, headteacher of the Wickford school, outlined the plans at a public meeting, which saw no parents show up.
The lack of interest comes at a time when Basildon schools are seemingly in crisis with two more primary schools in the borough being put into special measures by Ofsted inspectors – bringing the total number to five.
Headteachers and councillors have called on parents to take more of an interest in their children’s education, but just five members of staff and an Echo reporter turned out for the meeting.
Mrs Pilgrim said she felt pressure to take the school, which has been in special measures since January 2011, into the academy process.
She said: “There is a Government initiative at the moment for schools not doing so well to become academies.
“We were approached in November last year and that’s when the wheels towards academy status started.
“We had no choice in moving into what is a sponsored academy.
“We were being supported by Debbie and her team before the move towards an academy came, so nothing is going to change there.
“It would have been good for parents to come along and hear about the changes. Parent participation is getting better, but its still got a way to go.
“It is very important to get across the message that we are going to be supported by an outstanding school.”
Debbie Rogan, who will be executive head at the newly-formed academy, added: “It is not going to be like the Basildon Academies which are not supported in the same way. We are going to support Briscoe. It’s a mutual situation where both schools are going to help one another and share resources.”
She said becoming an academy could attract better teachers due to pay and contract changes.
She added: “It is widely known Basildon struggles to attract the best teachers because it is a challenging area. This way we can get the best people.”
Only two feedback forms have so far been received about the plan which would also see two posts lost in the restructure – a deputy headteacher and a teaching assistant .
The consultation is open until Monday. Parents can comment at www.wickfordcofe.essex.sch.uk