Trust pledges ‘rapid and effective’ improvement at Littlehampton Academy

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The Trust which sponsors The Littlehampton Academy has pledged extra resources to ensure “rapid and effective improvement”.

The Woodard Academies Trust released a statement after being issued with a Warning Notice by the Department for Education due to its “unacceptably low” performance.

As a Corporation we believe that every child can and should be given the opportunity to succeed. Our priority is to ensure that this happens

Tom Fremantle, chairman of Woodard Schools

The notice, from regional schools commissioner Dominic Herrington, gave the Trust until February 1 to ensure the quality of teaching at the academy improved “significantly and rapidly”.

He advised that, if improvements were not made, Nicky Morgan, the secretary of state for education, would be entitled to appoint additional directors of her choice to the Trust to bring the academy up to scratch.

A spokesman for the Trust confirmed the notice had been received and said “significant resource” had been put into the academy since it was placed in special measures by Ofsted in 2013.

She added that regular monitoring visits by Ofsted had identified progress and improvements to leadership as well as attainment.

The sponsor, Woodard Schools, is working closely with Woodard Academies Trust to accelerate improvement and has pledged additional resource to support rapid and effective improvement.

Tom Fremantle, chairman of Woodard Schools, sister charity to the Trust, said Woodard Schools was working closely with Woodard Academies Trust to “accelerate improvement and has pledged additional resource to support rapid and effective improvement”.

He added: “We have taken immediate action since receiving the Warning Letter in respect to The Littlehampton Academy and have noted the DfE comments regarding Sir Robert Woodard Academy.”

Trust chairman Canon David Bilton stepped down in June following four years at the helm.

A statement issued by the Trust said he had left “in order to pursue other interests”.

Mr Fremantle said a closer working relationship had since been established between Woodard Schools and the Trust.

He added: “We recognise that the Littlehampton Academy, for example, has a sixth-form placed in the top 10 per cent in the country, we also know that there remains much work to be done to improve pupil progress at Key Stages 3 and 4.

“We are looking to share areas of excellence and expertise so that our academy communities can benefit from our collective knowledge.

“We will also utilise resources from Woodard Schools to seek rapid progress.

“As a corporation we believe that every child can and should be given the opportunity to succeed.

“Our priority is to ensure that this happens.”

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