TENBURY High School is close to becoming an academy.
It will mark the next step in the school’s road to recovery after being put into special measures following a visit from the education watchdog Ofsted at the end of last year.
A party of four made up of head teacher Adrian Price along with chair of governors John Garbutt, vice chair Ken Pollock, and governor Jane Jenner, went to Stoke-on-Trent to visit the Sir Stanley Matthews Ormiston Academy.
It is understood that the paperwork for academy status has been sent to be signed off by education secretary Michael Gove and this is expected to happen before the end of April.
When a school goes into special measures it is a requirement that it applies for academy status which involves working towards improvement with a partner other than the local authority.
Head teacher Adrian Price said that he is ‘excited’ about the future but wanted to praise the help that has been given by Worcestershire County Council.
The change could involve a modification of the name of Tenbury High and could also mean a new uniform but Mr Price said that this need not be the case.
“I am very pleased with the progress that we are making and our statistics show that pupils are on track for improved performance,” said Mr Price.
“People have worked very hard and everyone deserves a good Easter holiday break.”
The head teacher and governors have set a target of being out of special measures within two years.
Just before Christmas the school heard that it was considered to be failing following an Ofsted inspection in October 2013.
There were concerns about the performance of pupils in key subjects.
In particular the school had a record of inconsistent performance over a number of years in English and mathematics although it has done well in other subjects especially science.
At the time Mr Price, who took over as head teacher last September, said that he had been aware of problems when he took on the job but was disappointed at the special measures adjudication.
Ken Pollock, the deputy chair of governors and representative for Tenbury on Worcestershire County Council, apologised earlier in 2014 to the town on behalf of the governing body for the problems at the school.
“I believe the school is now going in the right direction and we were very impressed with what we saw on the visit to Stoke-on-Trent,” he said.
Stuart Cooke, who took early retirement in July 2013 after 15 years as head teacher, has been critical of the Ofsted report and believes that the school has been penalised for not going down what he believes is the less demanding ‘BTEC’ route.
The Ormiston Academies Trust was founded in 2006 and has a track record of working with schools that have fallen foul of Ofsted.
It works with primary and secondary schools all over the country.