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Boss's pledge on failing Telford schools

Telford | News | Published:

The future of three failing academies is "extremely bright", its new chief insisted today.

Philip Hamilton today spoke about taking over at the helm of the newly-named The Telford Priory School, The Telford Langley School and The Telford Park School as designs for their new school badges were unveiled.

The chief executive of the Community Academies Trust was called in to take over after the schools, previously called Sutherland Co-Operative Academy, Wrockwardine Wood Arts Academy, Lakeside Academy and Phoenix Academy, after they all received the worst possible "inadequate" rating from Government education watchdog Ofsted.

Phoenix has been renamed The Telford Langley School, Lakeside is now known as The Telford Park School while Sutherland and Wrockwardine Wood have merged and moved on to a new site near Oakengates Leisure Centre to become The Telford Priory School.

All have been rebranded as part of an effort to give the schools a fresh start

"The changes to the names symbolise a new start and mark a new era for learning and school improvement," Mr Hamilton said.

"In September the schools embark on a new period in their history and a journey of rapid school improvement to ensure the local communities they serve can enjoy a first class education provision."

Mr Hamilton defended the decision to change the names of the schools and re-brand them with new badges – a move which has attracted criticism.

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He said the new names for the schools made reference to the areas they serve.

Telford Park School, formerly Lakeside Academy, in Grange Avenue, Stirchley, Telford

The Telford Park School, he said, reflects its position as part of the wider community as well as its location close to the town park.

Meanwhile, The Telford Priory School references the medieval history of the area, while The Telford Langley School references the area the school is built on at Langley farm in Dawley.

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"I am delighted to be involved with the new schools in Telford and commit my energies to ensuring the new schools are the best they can be," said Mr Hamilton.

"Collectively we are ambitious for the young people and the professionals in all three of the new schools.

"The future is extremely bright for everyone associated with the schools and the communities they serve."

The Community Academies Trust is to take over the leadership of the schools from the Telford Co-operative Multi Academy Trust, which was set up to oversee the running of the original four academies back in 2013.

The aim of the TCMAT was to turn the schools – three of whom received "good" Ofsted ratings before being converted to academies – into "outstanding" ones.

But the trust was dissolved after the latest reports were made public, with chairman Reverend Peter Lawley admitting the job was "too big" for a group of lay volunteers.

The CAT already runs six schools but only one of those is a secondary school – The Polesworth School in Tamworth – which has received two successive "outstanding" Ofsted ratings.

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