Visit to Lodge Park Academy in Corby:

Further to my recent posts, on Friday, I met with the Executive Principal of Lodge Park Academy in Corby, to discuss the recent Ofsted report, and how the school is working to quickly put right the failings identified. Mr Sloan, who has only just been appointed to provide fresh leadership, having demonstrated an ability to affect change and turn schools around elsewhere, told me that the school has introduced a comprehensive plan for tackling the challenges identified, and he is confident that the school will be out of ‘special measures’, and will be a ‘good’ school in the future. Not only is he determined to see a change in ethos, but he is also committed to resolving some of the staffing challenges that have proven to be very problematic - not least in providing continuity of teaching for students, and bringing in new, tested expertise, to bolster key subject capacity.  He is offering consistency as well, with a commitment to seeing this change through, rather than regular senior management change, as has been the case before.   

Welcomely, I also had the opportunity to present the end of term awards to students in year 11, for things such as consistent attendance, and effort and attainment across the broader subject range, to those who have worked hard and achieved. 

It was very good to visit and I have high expectations for improvement and progress in the future - I take this issue extremely seriously and will be monitoring progress closely.  Indeed, I have been raising the concerns expressed to me with the National Schools Commissioner, and am in the process of arranging a meeting to further discuss this with them and the support they are able to provide in helping to deliver the transformation required. As someone who went to comprehensive school locally, I am acutely aware of just how important a good education is and am determined we get this right - I will be leaving no stone unturned.