Government policy, now formalised by legislation, is that all schools which are placed into special measures should rapidly become sponsored academies. The Department for Education’s Regional Schools Commissioner (RSC), who is responsible for delivering this policy, has identified Hope Learning Trust as the preferred sponsor for Canon Lee School, which Ofsted has recently recognised as making rapid improvements out of special measures.
Canon Lee School is now consulting over joining the Hope Learning Trust, York as a sponsored academy from 1 September 2016. Hope is a multi-academy trust established by Manor Church of England Academy and Poppleton Ousebank Primary School.
Partnership arrangements to bring about the rapid improvement which Ofsted identified as being necessary at Canon Lee began in November 2015. Then, Executive Headteacher arrangements between Canon Lee and Joseph Rowntree Schools were put in place by City of York Council, and these will continue until after the Year 11 GCSE examinations in June 2016.
Ofsted’s recent monitoring inspection report has judged that the school’s leaders are taking effective action to be removed from special measures which confirms the impact of recent work at Canon Lee. Now, further work to secure additional and ongoing improvement at the school together with good results for pupils is underway. Ongoing discussions between the partnership of Hope Learning Trust, Canon Lee School and City of York Council are working towards a smooth transition to sponsored academy status and towards continued progress through the new arrangements.
Richard Crane, Executive Headteacher at Canon Lee and Joseph Rowntree Schools, said: “I am really pleased that staff and students of Canon Lee School have responded so positively after the full inspection which took place in October. We are all delighted with the pace of change and progress that has been made, which is reflected in the findings of the recent monitoring report by Ofsted. I am confident that in the next few months we will continue to build upon the progress made to ensure that the students of Canon Lee School get the learning experience that sets them up for success.”
Alan Lodge, Chair of Governors at Canon Lee, said: “We have resolved under the RSC’s advice to move to academy status as part of the Hope Learning Trust in the best interests of our school, its pupils and the community it serves and are looking forward to working with the Trust for continued and sustained improvement. Richard Crane, as Executive Headteacher, has helped us make significant progress in a short time. We are pleased that he will continue to lead the school until after this summer’s exams and support the transition to academy status with Hope.”
Brian Crosby, Executive Principal at Hope Learning Trust and Principal of Manor CE Academy, said: “The RSC asked us to work with Canon Lee School. After considering this request, our Trust Board has agreed to do so and this will lead to the school joining the Trust. We will work closely with the Canon Lee School community, including staff, governors, pupils and parents and the local authority to build on the excellent work of Executive Head Richard Crane and his team. Our common goal is to secure the best possible education and outcomes for pupils at Canon Lee.”
Councillor Jenny Brooks, Executive Member for Education, Children and Young People at City of York Council, said: “The council is very grateful for the support that Richard Crane and the governors at Joseph Rowntree School have provided to Canon Lee School during an extremely challenging period. In a very short space of time, direction, stability and focus has been brought to the school’s improvement plan which Ofsted has recognised and for which we thank the whole school community. We will continue to work with Hope Learning Trust and Canon Lee to maintain that energy and skill, evidenced by the successful outcome of the first monitoring inspection, and which will lead to the best outcomes possible for the students at Canon Lee.”