Academy’s sixth form could partially close

Exterior of Hope Academy, Ashton Road, Newton-Le-Willows.
Exterior of Hope Academy, Ashton Road, Newton-Le-Willows.

HOPE Academy’s sixth form centre could partially close its doors after a disastrous Ofsted report.

Despite not being ordered to shut by the inspecting body, it’s believed that it is being discussed as an option.

If the proposal goes ahead, part of the academy’s sixth form provision will be transferred to Carmel College.

The school, which cost £33million, opened less than four years ago when Newton High school and St Aelred’s merged.

A meeting was held last week to address the concerns of worried students and parents.

Frank Cogley, chair of governors at Hope Academy, said: “I am sure this is the right way forward given the recent difficulties of offering top class education throughout the sixth form.

“Carmel College will work closely with the academy and offer excellent teaching to enable our students to thrive.”

“Carmel College is an excellent, local sixth form college and the governors are confident that the transition will be as smooth as possible and will allow the sixth form students to concentrate on their studies at this important point in their education.”

Rob Peacock, principal of Carmel College, said: “When Carmel College was asked to work closely with Hope Academy we were more than happy to offer support. We are keen to do the best we can for the young people of the area. Where possible, some of the sixth form teaching is likely to transfer to Carmel.

“If there is other experience or expertise we can offer the students of Hope Academy then we will do so.”

In the report, posted on Ofsted’s website, there is a letter to the school saying: “The school is not making enough progress towards the removal of special measures.

The sponsor’s statement of action is not fit for purpose. Having considered all the evidence I strongly recommend that the academy does not seek to appoint newly qualified teachers.”

The report added: “Progress has declined since the previous monitoring inspection. GCSE results in the summer were lower than anticipated and there are still no reliable data to illustrate progress at Key Stage 3.

“Progress observed by inspectors in lessons and work in students’ books indicate that current progress is no better. Many students, including boys, the most able and those who are known to be eligible for pupil premium (additional government funding), make very limited progress in lessons because much of the teaching is poor quality and fails to capture their interests and imagination.”