A BRADFORD school in special measures and deemed “below standards” has started working with an academy chain to turn around its performance.
But despite working with Leeds based Gorse Academies Trust for the next 18 months, Hanson School in Swain House will not become an academy in the near future, and instead remain under the control of Bradford Council.
Plans to turn Hanson into an academy date back to 2011, and the most recent attempt ended late last year when the Wakefield City Academies Trust pulled out of plans to add the 1,700 pupil school to the trust.
It created an uncertain future for the school, which was put in special measures in June 2015 after a scathing Ofsted inspection.
Now it has been announced that the school has entered an 18 month “service level agreement” with the Gorse Trust, which will provide resources and support to improve Hanson.
In a letter to parents on the school’s website, Heather Flint, representing the interim executive board, said: “We are pleased that Sir John Townsley, Executive Principal at The Gorse Academies Trust and his staff will be working with the students and staff at Hanson as part of their Teaching School Alliance. We are confident that Hanson can benefit from the support and additional resources that his team will bring and build on the work already undertaken by WCAT and the staff in school to make Hanson an outstanding place to work and learn.
“The focus of the partnership will be on improving the outcomes for students and not, at this stage, on becoming an academy. Hanson will remain, for the immediate future, a Foundation School and part of Bradford District.”
When the school was placed in special measures its governing body was replaced with an Interim Executive Board. The school has also just announced that this board will be replaced with a regular governing body, made up of elected staff and parent governors, from April 1.
Hanson was one of three schools in Bradford described as falling below government standards for results last year in the most recent results tables.
Imran Khan, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Education, Employment and Skills said: “We are pleased to see the developments at Hanson School where the Gorse Academies Trust will be working for the foreseeable future to help raise standards. The council has been working closely with the school’s Interim Executive Board and the Department for Education to find a suitable partner for Hanson School.
“Gorse Academies Trust run several outstanding schools in Leeds and has a strong and established track record of school improvement. Whether pupils go to maintained schools or academies we want all our young people to benefit from the best education possible.”
The first attempt to turn the school into an academy was made by the Schools Partnership Trust Academies, but the academy sponsor pulled out in 2015 for “unresolved financial and legal issues.” Wakefield City Academy Trust pulled out of its partnership with the school in December.