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It is one of the most high profile partnerships between a state and private school in the country, but Wellington Academy - sponsored by the elite Wellington College - has announced the departure of its headteacher after a dramatic fall in GCSE results.
Andy Schofield, who was founding principal of the academy, has stepped down from his position after four years due to what the College called a “decline” in academic progress.
The news will come as a significant blow not just to Wellington College and its master Anthony Seldon, but also to education secretary Michael Gove and even prime minister David Cameron, who have both lavished praise on the private school for sponsoring the academy.
In a speech in 2011, Mr Gove used Wellington's example to put pressure on other private schools to sponsor academies, asking the question: "If you're so good, why is Anthony Seldon proving that he is better at transforming state education than you are?"
The Wellington partnership has since been used as a shining example of why top fee-paying institutions should sponsor struggling state schools. Before this year's slump, the school had gone from being the worst-performing in Wiltshire to the best in the county for value-added results at GCSE.
For years politicians have been urging private schools to become more heavily involved in the state sector, with former schools secretary Lord Andrew Adonis once telling headmasters from the country’s elite independents, “We want your educational DNA”.
But results at Wellington Academy fell from 47 per cent of students achieving five A* to C grades including English and maths last year to just 37 per cent this summer, despite being partnered with the £33,000-a-year College.
It is understood that the academy's governors decided that the fall meant that a change in leadership was needed.
Dr Seldon has been announced as the executive head of the academy, with Mike Milner seconded from the College as the school's acting principal.
In a statement released this afternoon, Mr Seldon said he was proud of what the school had achieved so far, but added that more needed to be done.
“We’ve taken action because these results are unacceptable,” he said. “We profoundly believe that all the children in the Wellington family of schools deserve to be set rigorous and ambitious targets and to have a culture of aspiration aiming at the very highest grades. That is what we want for every academy pupil.”
Isn't this the very same school that the TES were reporting had outstanding A-Level results just the week before? With such volatility in results this year, especially around English once again and whether schools had played the various games on offer it seems quite strange to get rid of the existing Head Teacher at such a crucial time. Surely 'outstanding' A-Level results sending record numbers of students to excellent Universities was a sign of things going well?
This year, GCSE marking has been a shambles in other ways to the debacle of last year. Have a good look at the comments re marking of controlled assessments on the TES forums. God help the Heads of all Academies in the future , watch your backs all of you.!!
"Lord Andrew Adonis once telling headmasters from the country’s elite independents, “We want your educational DNA”."
The idea that successful private schools have the knowledge and skills to advise failing state schools is deeply unconvincing. The fact that the notion was pushed by Lord ("cancelling HS2 would be act of national self-mutilation") Adonis just makes it seem even more unlikely.
A civilisation is measured not by the rights it grants its majority but the privileges it allows its minorities. Muslim families are as entitled as any other religious group to schools that nurture their children's faith. Muslim pupils should be educated in Muslim schools because the current system is marginalising them. Teaching Muslim children in a Muslim school would remove the "problem of them being exposed" to values that conflict with Islamic faith. Muslim pupils are disadvantaged and marginalised in the city's state schools because the cultural heritage of the curriculum is "European and Christian".
Muslim schools provide an education in accordance with the Muslim beliefs and values, such as providing single-sex schooling after puberty. They are thus a response to the danger of absorption into the dominant culture.
The number of Muslim children is on the increase in Bradford state and church schools. There are lot of schools where Muslim children are in majority. In my opinion, all such schools may be opted out as Muslim Academies for proper education. British history from early periods to present day should be taught in all schools. Islamic history from the early period to present day should be part and parcel of the National Curriculum. I think to be fair the Arabic and Persian contributions to the world in medicine, mathematics and other sciences plus their involvement in world affairs should be taught.
The demand for state funded Muslim schools is in accordance with the law of the land. Muslims are not asking for any favour. I set up the first Muslim school in London in 1981 and now there are 188 Muslim schools and only 12 are state funded. I would like to see each and every Muslim child in a state funded Muslim schools and I hope one day my dream would come true. There is no place for a non-Muslim child or a teacher in a Muslim school. Bilingual Muslim children need bilingual Muslim teachers as role models during their developmental period. There are few schools for Hindu and Sikh communities. Now even Black community is thinking of setting up their own state funded schools for their own children with black teachers.
You better teach your children in your own schools and let migrant communities teach their children according to their needs and demands.British Establishment and society should concentrate on the evils of their own society and stop trying to change the way of life of Muslims. Muslim community does not want to integrate with the British society, indulging in incivility, anti-social behaviour, drug and knife culture, binge drinking, teenage pregnancies and abortion.
A Muslim is a citizen of this tiny global village. He/she does not want to become notoriously monolingual Brit. He/she is well versed in standard English, Arabic, Urdu and other community languages so that they do not find themselves cut off from their cultural heritage and are able to enjoy the beauty of their literature and poetry.
London School of Islamics Trust
I do hope that lfti's post is a spoof.
If it is meant seriously, it is a godsend to the British National Party and the English Defence League.
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