Councillors call for more powers to deal with troubled schools

OUSTED: Marie Small, chairman of the governing body at St Luke's Primary School, which is being replaced by an Interim Executive Board

OUSTED: Marie Small, chairman of the governing body at St Luke's Primary School, which is being replaced by an Interim Executive Board

First published in News
Last updated

COUNCILLORS from all the major political parties have called for more power to intervene at troubled schools after it was revealed yet another Bradford school will have its governors replaced.

The governing body at St Luke's Church of England school in Eccleshill will stand down after internal "disagreements" over how to run it meant they undermined the school's focus on improving.

Bradford Council has now applied to the Department for Education to install an Interim Executive Board to run the school until a new governing body is found.

In April the governors at Laisterdyke Business and Enterprise College were sacked after a report criticising governance and the Council has also been urged to act at Carlton Bolling College, a report on which is due to be released tomorrow.

Councillor Ralph Berry, executive member for education, said the council had its hands tied when it came to dealing with school governors - they can only fire the entire governing body and only when there is evidence of a problem - such as an Ofsted inspection.

The drastic move at St Luke's follows a report published by Ofsted yesterday that criticised divisions within the governing body, and claimed they meant they were unable to agree on a much needed action plan to improve the school.

In April the school was inspected and found to "require improvement" with many pupils progressing to slow. This led to a follow up inspection last month.

That report says: "Although governors are committed to the school, disagreements within the governing body mean that it has not focused enough on the job at hand.

"It has failed to produce an appropriate action plan and is clearly not in the position to do so."

But the school is praised for its efforts to improve, with the report saying: "There is already some very clear evidence your actions are bearing fruit."

The school is run by the Diocese of West Yorkshire and the Dales, and the Venerable Dr David Lee, Archdeacon of Bradford, said: "The diocese recognises the governing body has divided into two groups, both of which are passionate about serving the school but hold different views.

"We will fully co-operate with the local authority and look forward to the creation of a new board of governors for St Luke's."

He said the chairman of governors Marie Small was very upset that the situation had got to this stage.

Cllr Berry, said: "It is similar in many ways to what happened at Laisterdyke - it is about getting the right governance in place to improve the schools.

"It shows that we are not just intervening when it comes to Muslim governors. There is a very different social context here, but this is crucial to make sure things move forward."

At a full council meeting on Tuesday, the Council put forward a motion calling for its powers "to support local schools and hold them accountable to local people should be strengthened".

Council leader David Green, said the authority only had one course of action open to it if it had concerns about a governing body.

He said that was to “go in with a sledgehammer, take out the governing body, put in an interim executive board, and that usually does lead to academisation”.

Cllr Green wants a more flexible approach which would allow it to remove problem governors while leaving the rest in place.

Comments (14)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

7:18am Thu 17 Jul 14

food_for_thought says...

"Cllr Green wants a more flexible approach which would allow it to remove problem governors while leaving the rest in place."

Leaving aside the obvious diffficulty of any politician sticking their oar into education...should be banned...any change to the existing 'sledgehammer' is fraught with difficulties. Take the case above...who decides which of the two groups on the governing body is appropriate to remain in place? Who pays for the reams of reports and investigation which the public sector needs to make any decision? Who pays for the inevitable legal challenges which will follow? No...at least under the current system there is an independent assessment of serious failings and only one possible outcome. Give a politician of any colour a choice and it will cost us...in time, in money and in inevitable failure (followed by endless recriminations, accusations and counter-accusations)
!
"Cllr Green wants a more flexible approach which would allow it to remove problem governors while leaving the rest in place." Leaving aside the obvious diffficulty of any politician sticking their oar into education...should be banned...any change to the existing 'sledgehammer' is fraught with difficulties. Take the case above...who decides which of the two groups on the governing body is appropriate to remain in place? Who pays for the reams of reports and investigation which the public sector needs to make any decision? Who pays for the inevitable legal challenges which will follow? No...at least under the current system there is an independent assessment of serious failings and only one possible outcome. Give a politician of any colour a choice and it will cost us...in time, in money and in inevitable failure (followed by endless recriminations, accusations and counter-accusations) ! food_for_thought
  • Score: -2

9:41am Thu 17 Jul 14

piltdownman says...

Obviously the Governors don't believe in Christian forbearance. Not much of an advert for their religion. All faith schools should be scrapped.
Obviously the Governors don't believe in Christian forbearance. Not much of an advert for their religion. All faith schools should be scrapped. piltdownman
  • Score: 11

9:48am Thu 17 Jul 14

They only do damage! says...

If the individuals involved , seek to change the way our goverment, taxpayer funded schools operate, then they should be jailed for currupting a organisation. When the public see individuals changing a school, so religion comes first it's scary to the indiginous people. We're not all waiting about to die!!.
If the individuals involved , seek to change the way our goverment, taxpayer funded schools operate, then they should be jailed for currupting a organisation. When the public see individuals changing a school, so religion comes first it's scary to the indiginous people. We're not all waiting about to die!!. They only do damage!
  • Score: 7

9:48am Thu 17 Jul 14

sunnysidedown says...

piltdownman wrote:
Obviously the Governors don't believe in Christian forbearance. Not much of an advert for their religion. All faith schools should be scrapped.
Amen to to that. Religious zealots cause nothing but trouble in this world. Beware the men with beards.
[quote][p][bold]piltdownman[/bold] wrote: Obviously the Governors don't believe in Christian forbearance. Not much of an advert for their religion. All faith schools should be scrapped.[/p][/quote]Amen to to that. Religious zealots cause nothing but trouble in this world. Beware the men with beards. sunnysidedown
  • Score: 5

10:29am Thu 17 Jul 14

collos25 says...

sunnysidedown wrote:
piltdownman wrote:
Obviously the Governors don't believe in Christian forbearance. Not much of an advert for their religion. All faith schools should be scrapped.
Amen to to that. Religious zealots cause nothing but trouble in this world. Beware the men with beards.
And dresses telling fairy stories to children.
In my time when I use to visit schools in the area there was not one council or church school I would send my children.Electronic locks on doors,police stationed within a school racial abuse and riots were common place all hushed up and not a word in the press.
[quote][p][bold]sunnysidedown[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]piltdownman[/bold] wrote: Obviously the Governors don't believe in Christian forbearance. Not much of an advert for their religion. All faith schools should be scrapped.[/p][/quote]Amen to to that. Religious zealots cause nothing but trouble in this world. Beware the men with beards.[/p][/quote]And dresses telling fairy stories to children. In my time when I use to visit schools in the area there was not one council or church school I would send my children.Electronic locks on doors,police stationed within a school racial abuse and riots were common place all hushed up and not a word in the press. collos25
  • Score: 4

10:36am Thu 17 Jul 14

Albion. says...

sunnysidedown wrote:
piltdownman wrote:
Obviously the Governors don't believe in Christian forbearance. Not much of an advert for their religion. All faith schools should be scrapped.
Amen to to that. Religious zealots cause nothing but trouble in this world. Beware the men with beards.
How ironic that you should use the "amen" word. I agree with your closing comments though (I think everyone is aware that I do, by now).
[quote][p][bold]sunnysidedown[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]piltdownman[/bold] wrote: Obviously the Governors don't believe in Christian forbearance. Not much of an advert for their religion. All faith schools should be scrapped.[/p][/quote]Amen to to that. Religious zealots cause nothing but trouble in this world. Beware the men with beards.[/p][/quote]How ironic that you should use the "amen" word. I agree with your closing comments though (I think everyone is aware that I do, by now). Albion.
  • Score: 2

11:30am Thu 17 Jul 14

Joedavid says...

I fail to understand the running of State schools always thought the Council did but it seems a few people called Governors do, so how is it the Council lets these people in to do the job in non faith schools?
I fail to understand the running of State schools always thought the Council did but it seems a few people called Governors do, so how is it the Council lets these people in to do the job in non faith schools? Joedavid
  • Score: 3

11:47am Thu 17 Jul 14

Albion. says...

Joedavid wrote:
I fail to understand the running of State schools always thought the Council did but it seems a few people called Governors do, so how is it the Council lets these people in to do the job in non faith schools?
It's the law.

http://www.cheshirew
estandchester.gov.uk
/default.aspx?page=2
564
[quote][p][bold]Joedavid[/bold] wrote: I fail to understand the running of State schools always thought the Council did but it seems a few people called Governors do, so how is it the Council lets these people in to do the job in non faith schools?[/p][/quote]It's the law. http://www.cheshirew estandchester.gov.uk /default.aspx?page=2 564 Albion.
  • Score: 0

11:50am Thu 17 Jul 14

Out of site says...

collos25 wrote:
sunnysidedown wrote:
piltdownman wrote:
Obviously the Governors don't believe in Christian forbearance. Not much of an advert for their religion. All faith schools should be scrapped.
Amen to to that. Religious zealots cause nothing but trouble in this world. Beware the men with beards.
And dresses telling fairy stories to children.
In my time when I use to visit schools in the area there was not one council or church school I would send my children.Electronic locks on doors,police stationed within a school racial abuse and riots were common place all hushed up and not a word in the press.
Or pyjamas.
[quote][p][bold]collos25[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]sunnysidedown[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]piltdownman[/bold] wrote: Obviously the Governors don't believe in Christian forbearance. Not much of an advert for their religion. All faith schools should be scrapped.[/p][/quote]Amen to to that. Religious zealots cause nothing but trouble in this world. Beware the men with beards.[/p][/quote]And dresses telling fairy stories to children. In my time when I use to visit schools in the area there was not one council or church school I would send my children.Electronic locks on doors,police stationed within a school racial abuse and riots were common place all hushed up and not a word in the press.[/p][/quote]Or pyjamas. Out of site
  • Score: 2

12:59pm Thu 17 Jul 14

Storck says...

They only do damage! wrote:
If the individuals involved , seek to change the way our goverment, taxpayer funded schools operate, then they should be jailed for currupting a organisation. When the public see individuals changing a school, so religion comes first it's scary to the indiginous people. We're not all waiting about to die!!.
It is a CoE school, obviously religion is going to be high on the priority list
[quote][p][bold]They only do damage![/bold] wrote: If the individuals involved , seek to change the way our goverment, taxpayer funded schools operate, then they should be jailed for currupting a organisation. When the public see individuals changing a school, so religion comes first it's scary to the indiginous people. We're not all waiting about to die!!.[/p][/quote]It is a CoE school, obviously religion is going to be high on the priority list Storck
  • Score: 2

1:32pm Thu 17 Jul 14

Apollo says...

It used to be the case that at least 1 Councillor was a member of all school Governing Bodies and were appointed to the role by the Council.

If these people were in place and attending why are entire Governing Bodies being sacked?

The Council cannot have it both ways.
It used to be the case that at least 1 Councillor was a member of all school Governing Bodies and were appointed to the role by the Council. If these people were in place and attending why are entire Governing Bodies being sacked? The Council cannot have it both ways. Apollo
  • Score: -1

3:45pm Thu 17 Jul 14

son123 says...

My children attend this school. It got outstanding reports before this is just a glitch that can be sorted!!!! Its not owned by bfd council they school and grounds are owned by the church next door hence the disagreements. The school wants to do more but the church that owns land doesnt!!!!. Its not the school its the church!
My children attend this school. It got outstanding reports before this is just a glitch that can be sorted!!!! Its not owned by bfd council they school and grounds are owned by the church next door hence the disagreements. The school wants to do more but the church that owns land doesnt!!!!. Its not the school its the church! son123
  • Score: 2

4:55pm Thu 17 Jul 14

Freddy Elliot says...

sunnysidedown wrote:
piltdownman wrote:
Obviously the Governors don't believe in Christian forbearance. Not much of an advert for their religion. All faith schools should be scrapped.
Amen to to that. Religious zealots cause nothing but trouble in this world. Beware the men with beards.
Whilst on the male beards subject, let's not forget their pretty ladies either sunnysidedown.
[quote][p][bold]sunnysidedown[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]piltdownman[/bold] wrote: Obviously the Governors don't believe in Christian forbearance. Not much of an advert for their religion. All faith schools should be scrapped.[/p][/quote]Amen to to that. Religious zealots cause nothing but trouble in this world. Beware the men with beards.[/p][/quote]Whilst on the male beards subject, let's not forget their pretty ladies either sunnysidedown. Freddy Elliot
  • Score: 1

9:38pm Thu 17 Jul 14

Here today says...

I tell my daughter that the "pretty ladies" are vampires and werewolves and they are covered up so that the sun doesn't burn them up !!!
I tell my daughter that the "pretty ladies" are vampires and werewolves and they are covered up so that the sun doesn't burn them up !!! Here today
  • Score: 1

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree