Outstanding school to work with Wetherby High

Wetherby High School.(09040315f)
Wetherby High School.(09040315f)

To ensure Wetherby High’s stability in the continuing absence of its headteacher, the school is to form a partnership with an outstanding Leeds school.

A letter was this week issued to parents informing them of this decision as headteacher Andrea Barnes continues her leave, taken for personal reasons.

Until July 2015, the school will work with Carr Manor Community School, where leadership and behaviour was judged outstanding by Ofsted.

In the letter, Wetherby High’s chair of governors Cindy Bentley said: “It is testament to the leadership skills of its headteacher Simon Flowers that his school has achieved these high ratings under the current, more stringent Ofsted framework.

“We are convinced that working in this formal partnership arrangement, with Mr Flowers as executive head of Wetherby High School, will be invaluable in ensuring that the school continues to make significant improvements over the coming weeks and throughout the new academic year.

“The governing body now has to ensure that our senior leadership team is fully supported, particularly as we prepare for our next Ofsted inspection.”

Section eight reports by Ofsted on Wetherby High following visits in February and November 2013 commended the school for its success in turning their situation around after a 2012 section five report found the school required improvement.

At the time this judgement was refuted by the school and Ms Barnes challenged Ofsted’s findings, stating they did not properly recognise the school’s achievements and successes.

A July 2013 report by Leeds City Council (LCC) also challenged the findings and said that, from 28 observed lessons, 82 per cent were good or better and 0 per cent were inadequate.

Ms Bentley said: “The arrangement, which is fully supported by LCC, will allow the sharing of good and outstanding practice as and when it is considered necessary and appropriate.

“We will be inviting parents to an information evening in the hear future when we can provide more information.”

The school is currently being lead by acting headteacher Mark McKelvie in Ms Barnes’ absence.

In the letter Ms Bentley revealed that Mr McKelvie will leave the school at the end of the academic year for a new post as headteacher at another school.

She said: “He has been a valued member of the senior leadership team at Wetherby High School for a number of years and we are especially grateful to him for his enthusiastic leadership over the last few weeks.”