Takeover Team at Crisis School; Chief Executive Heads Board after Damning Ofsted Report

Article excerpt

Byline: CLARE USHER

A FAILING school has been taken in hand by a local authority's chief executive and senior councillors following a damning Ofsted report.

Newton High School,St Helens, was put on ``special measures,'' which meant governors had their powers taken away and the local education authority stepped in.

Now the school will have a board of governors led by chief executive of St Helens Council Carole Hudson and executive member for lifelong learning Cllr Alma Atherton.

Ofsted inspectors reported a crisis of leadership and teaching in the school earlier this month, which meant pupils were not getting an acceptable education.

Joining Mrs Hudson and Cllr Atherton on the board will be executive member for urban regeneration and economic development Cllr Andy Bowden, director of environmental protection Paul Sanderson, borough treasurer Ian Roberts, head of the council's policy unit Peter Hughes and senior personnel officer Lesley Barry.

At a private meeting chaired by Mrs Hudson last night, officials were discussing plans on how to turn the school around immediately.

This is the first time a school in St Helens has been given such a poor Ofsted report with such drastic steps being taken, so the method of using so many council officials as governors is as yet untested.

A spokeswoman said the involvement was not a token effort and council leaders were going to take a practical and active role in improving the school. …