School’s future is safe

Gavin Chappell -
Gavin Chappell -

A MAJOR restructure looks set to secure the future of Market Weighton School.

The secondary school, which is in special measures, is undergoing a re-organisation which has already seen the loss of four support staff jobs.

However, there will be no reduction in the number of teaching staff and, without the restructure, the school’s future would have been under threat.

The reshaping of senior leadership has allowed acting headteacher Gavin Chappell to continue in his role in leading the school out of special measures and he is confident of achieving this goal by the summer.

Mr Chappell said that a monitoring visit by local authority inspectors on Monday highlighted the progress being made and he explained the benefits of the restructure.

“There are two main things that the restructure has done; the first is secure the continued support of South Hunsley School into 2013.” he said.

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“This will enable the school to emerge out of special measures as a stable, viable school and it is key that level of support is there. The second is a restructure that has meant four redundancies in terms of support staff and there will be changes in terms of the leadership level at the school.

“These things are designed to make the school’s future viable in the longer term.”

Mr Chappell said that parents should be reassured that the changes will secure the future of secondary education in the town.

“The school was in a very difficult financial situation as a lot of schools are, especially the smaller ones,” he said. “A town like Market Weighton should have, and deserves, a secondary school.

“It is really important.

“By taking positive action now it secures our future and I would like to reassure parents that everything that has been done has been done in the best interests of the children to make sure they get the education they deserve.”

No firm plans are yet in place to determine the future of sixth form education at the school but current year 11 pupils who make the grade will be guaranteed sixth form places at South Hunsley School, Mr Chappell said.

Debbie Lord, chair of governors is positive about the changes and said: “The governing body has worked closely with the local authority to secure the successful leadership arrangements currently in place at The Market Weighton School, longer term.

“As the school hopes to come out of special measures in the next few months, the changes we are proposing to staffing and working structure will ensure the long-term viability of the school, enabling it to remain educating the children in our community.

“Change in any institution is a challenge, but we believe the school will emerge stronger and more successful and we are pleased to have the full support of the local authority in this.

“I look forward to continuing to work with out executive head and acting head of school over the coming year to secure this bright future.”

Coun Julie Abraham, portfolio holder for children, young people and schools at East Riding Council, said: “Parents should be reassured that the measures being taken are intended to ensure the presence of a secondary school in Market Weighton to deliver a top quality education for its young people.”

“Everyone that has been involved with the school during recent difficulties is confident for its future and parents should share that confidence.”

Mike Furbank, head of achievement and inclusion at East Riding of Yorkshire Council, added: “The on-going support for the school from South Hunsley and East Riding Council’s improvement and learning service is bringing about the improvements that both the community and Ofsted require.

“The sustained leadership arrangements and the innovative restructure give a positive future for The Market Weighton School.”