Tag: Schools

New Wythenshawe Catholic schools boss pledges to boost pupil numbers

Sacha Humphries - CEO Wynthenshawe Catholic Academy TrustThe new boss of the academy trust which runs four Wythenshawe schools has promised to boost pupil numbers and free staff to focus on teaching.

The Wythenshawe Catholic Academy Trust (WCAT), which runs St Paul’s High School and three primary schools – Ss John Fisher & Thomas MoreSt Elizabeth’sSt Anthony’s, – has appointed  Sacha Humphries, one of the government’s national leaders in education as its new chief executive.

Sacha Humphries has held senior leadership roles in education across the North West and was formerly Head Teacher at Saint Mary’s Catholic, School, Congleton, which was given an ‘outstanding’ status by OFSTED earlier this year.

She began her education career in 2005 when she retrained as a teacher following a career in finance with City firm Schroders.

“I’m thrilled to be joining Wythenshawe Catholic Academy Trust at a very exciting time in its development,” she said.

“Working as a multi-academy trust provides us with many opportunities to work collaboratively in order to raise achievement for all children and young people at our schools.

“The vision for the trust is to become the employer of choice across Manchester, providing its children and young people with an outstanding education, as well as exemplary pastoral care.

“One of my key priorities will be to develop the systems and infrastructure across the trust to enable staff to focus on what they do best – teaching.  We also hope to enjoy a period of growth in pupil numbers, as our doors are open to all children and young people, irrespective of their faith background, who wish to benefit from an excellent, values-driven, Catholic education.”

Sacha Humphries’ appointment is the latest in a series of changes at St Paul’s High School, which is continuing to recover from an OFSTED report in 2016 which said it required improvement.

Since the report, a new head teacher has been appointed at the school and inspectors acknowledged progress had been made, with more to be done, when they visited again last year.

And this year, St Pauls reported some of its best ever GCSE results with a pass rate of more than  60% in both English and Maths.

Governor of WCAT, Nick Johnson commented: “We’re delighted with the appointment of Sacha to CEO.  Her experience in this field is outstanding and she joins the trust at a very pivotal point in our development.  With Sacha’s involvement, I am confident the trust will be capable of great things in the coming year.”


Wythenshawe MP calls for “root and branch reform” of schools watchdog after damning report

Mike Kane MP

Wythenshawe’s Mike Kane has called for an overhaul of the schools watchdog, Ofsted, following a damning report by MPs.

The report, following an inquiry by the Public Accounts Committee, said there were “clear shortcomings” in the performance of Ofsted, which inspects schools and children’s services.

Among criticisms highlighted in the report are that it has completed fewer inspections than planned, it has failed to meet its targets for how often schools should be inspected, and schools are being left for longer between inspections.

And Ofsted had incorrectly reported to parliament that it had met the statutory target for reinspecting schools every five years. Continue reading “Wythenshawe MP calls for “root and branch reform” of schools watchdog after damning report”

New principal for Manchester Health Academy

DKQEphTX0AEUfF-Manchester Health Academy’s new principal, Kevin Green, says he is honoured to be taking on the role.

Mr Green was vice principal at the school on Moor Road, Wythenshawe for four years before the appointment this week, following the departure of former head, Damian Owen in July. Continue reading “New principal for Manchester Health Academy”

Wythenshawe MP says government should be “in special measures”  over schools crisis 

Wythenshawe MP Mike Kane has warned of a crisis in Britain’s schools if the government’s education policies continue. 

The MP, who is also Labour’s shadow minister for schools said there would be cuts of £2.5 billion to schools by 2020 with 92 per cent having their funding reduced.

Mr Kane made his warning during a parliamentary debate, saying average cut cut to primary schools will be £96,500, and the average cut for secondary schools will be £290,000. The average loss per primary school pupil will be £401, and the average loss per secondary school pupil will be £365.

He said the schools budget was protected only in cash terms, rather than in real terms, meaning it is at the mercy of rising pressures, pupil numbers and the impact of inflation on true value.

Mr Kane said: “We have a crisis in teacher morale, recruitment and retention, and we have scandal after scandal in academy trusts due to the lack of effective oversight. There is also chaos over the national funding formula and incompetence with regard to the testing and assessment criteria on a scale not seen before. 

“It is a shame that parliament does not have the equivalent of Ofsted to assess the competence of the Government; if it did, the Government Front-Bench team would no doubt find itself in special measures.”

The Wythenshawe MP also attacked the government’s plans to expand grammar schools. 

The policy has bee criticised because it is thought it will segregate pupils and favour those whose families can afford private tuition to get youngsters through 11-plus tests. 

Mr Kane said: “Labour is obviously committed to an education system for everyone, not just a select few, and we will oppose this regressive policy of grammar school expansion every step of the way.

“The Prime Minister spoke about delivering for everyone, but what matters is what she does, and her actions reveal the government’s true colours: working in the interests of the few while everyone else is left behind; in one breath talking of creating a “great meritocracy”, and in the next announcing a return to grammar schools.”

But the Tory minister for schools Nick Gibb defended the goverment’s policies which he said includes plans to extend admissions to pupils from poorer backgrounds to grammar schools.

He said: “Since 2010, more than 1.4 million more pupils are in good or outstanding schools, and we have created over half a million new school places in that period, in direct contradiction to the last Labour Government, who cut 200,000 primary school places at a time when the birth rate was increasing.

“This Government are determined to ensure that every child has the quality of education that helps them fulfil their potential. That is the drive behind all our reforms over the past six years, and it is the objective behind the proposals to end the ban on new grammar schools and the restrictions on new good school places in our faith schools.”

Wythenshawe MP tackles teacher workload in new role as schools spokesman

-xO4l9Z-_400x400Wythenshawe MP, Mike Kane, has returned to Labour’s front bench team as schools spokesman for the party.

Mr Kane quit his post as shadow international development minister earlier this year amidst a wave of shadow cabinet resignations  which led to a bruising Labour leadership battle between Jeremy Corbyn and challenger Owen Smith.

Following Mr Corbyn’s re-election as leader with an increased mandate from party members, a number of MPs who resigned accepted jobs in a reshuffled shadow cabinet.

Mr Kane, a former primary school teacher, says he is delighted to have been appointed schools spokesman, working alongside fellow Greater Manchester MP and shadow education secretary, Angela Rayner.

And the Wythenshawe MP hit the ground running this week when he tackled the government on the issue of excessive workload for teachers which, according to the Education Policy Institute is causing ill health in the profession.

In a question to Tory minister, Nick Gibb,. Mr Kane said the teaching union, the NAS/UWT  has found that half of teachers have been to see a doctor in the past year due to work-related illness, and one in 10 have been prescribed antidepressants.

He said: “We know that the Minister is on the record as not valuing those of us with the postgraduate certificate in education, but can he not see that the Government’s failure to support teachers is at the heart of the crisis in teachers’ morale?”

Mr Gibb said the government understood the challenges in the teaching profession and are taking action.

The EPI survey found that:

  • Teachers in England are working an average of 48.2 hours a week  with a fifth working more than 60 hours- longer than in most other countries. 
  • Long working hours are hindering teachers’ access to continuing professional development. 
  • Long hours, low starting pay and limited access to professional development create a risk of teacher ‘burn out’, especially in the early stages of careers.