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Whitehaven Academy: Trust pulls out of problem school

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A charitable trust has pulled out of the running of a troubled Cumbrian school amid concerns over standards and safety.Whitehaven Academy, which is now in special measures, has had six head teachers since the Bright Tribe Trust took it over in 2014.Earlier this week pupils wrote a letter saying the academy had become so bad their futures were “being destroyed.”Bright Tribe said it recognised a new sponsor for the academy was now needed.Parents have also expressed concerns about the school and teaching staff have taken part in strike action over the “unsafe” state of the building.The trust said its chief operating officer Mary McKeeman had left her job.Earlier this week Bright Tribe said problems stemmed from a lack of investment before it took over and improvements were under way.’Unable to grow’A statement released on Thursday said: “The trust had hoped to develop a hub of schools in Cumbria, recognising the value of the collaboration and school-to-school support that happens in our other hubs. “As we have been unable to grow beyond a single school in Cumbria, we recognise the need to explore alternative sponsor options for Whitehaven Academy.”In the light of this, Bright Tribe has agreed with the Department for Education and Regional Schools Commissioner that they will pursue alternative options for the school. We believe alternative sponsorship is the most appropriate route for the school’s continued improvement journey.”Regional Schools Commissioner for the north of England Janet Renou said: “I have been working with Bright Tribe Trust, Cumbria County Council and my Head Teacher Board to address the challenges at The Whitehaven Academy. “However, despite these efforts, it is clear that a new sponsor is required to deliver the improvement needed to ensure pupils get the education they deserve.”A Cumbria County Council spokesman added: “We are delighted by this announcement. “There is now an opportunity to take stock and make sure the right sponsor is found so the school can move forward positively and pupils can get the education they deserve.”
Source: BBC Cumbria