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Call to 'move on' in row on Telford school name

Telford | News | Published:

A leading councillor has called for parents to "move on" in the row over plans to change the name of a Telford school – despite being the first person to publicly criticise the decision.

Shaun Davies attacked the Telford Co-operative Multi-Academy Trust (TCMAT) for failing to consult parents and the people of Dawley over plans to change the name of Phoenix Academy to the Telford Langley School from September.

The name change is part of moves to get the school back on track after a failed government inspection. It led to Dawley parish councillor Stefan Heighway launching a petition to keep the name as it is.

But Councillor Davies, a cabinet member with Telford & Wrekin Council and chairman of Great Dawley Town Council, said it was now time to drop the matter.

He was speaking after a meeting with Philip Hamilton, chief executive of the Community Academies Trust (CAT), which is due to take over the running of the school from September.

Councillor Davies said: "I was very reassured after meeting with Mr Hamilton that the school is most definitely on the up.

"Whatever mine or anyone else's view of the new school name, we must now move on, get behind the Telford Langley School and all do our bit to support them to offer a great education for its pupils and an excellent facility for the community in Dawley."

Mr Hamilton added: "We had a very productive meeting. Councillor Davies understands the plans that we have in place to transform the school, supporting the school's new leadership to tackle the issues raised in the recently failed Ofsted inspection and that we are determined to make this school a place that local people can be even more proud of.

"He also understands the time pressures we face on a new name for the school and that we have involved the school in this.

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Choosing a name is both exciting in that it signals a new direction but is often difficult as there are always so many possibilities."

He said: "With this in mind and following much debate within the school, The Telford Langley School is our chosen name and we are in the process of communicating this to parents before releasing further information more widely.

"Together we will work to move the school and its fantastic facilities forward and give our pupils an even better education."

The school was one of four in Telford – along with Sutherland Co-Operative Academy, Wrockwardine Wood Arts Academy and Lakeside Academy – to be placed in special measures after receiving the worst possible "inadequate" rating from Ofsted inspectors earlier this year.

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