Sunday, 13 June 2021

School to benefit from move to academy

CLASSROOMS will be refurbished and new staff will join Chiltern Edge School in Sonning Common after it becomes an academy next month.

The secondary school in Reades Lane will become part of the Maiden Erlegh Trust on August 1 — more than a year after it was rated “inadequate” by the education watchdog Ofsted.

It is now deemed to be improving under the leadership of new headteacher Moira Green, who joined in June last year.

She said: “The school as we know it will close down on July 31. It’s very positive for us and we’re excited to be part of a trust known for its high standard and best practice.

“The new signage will reflect the new name of the school — Maiden Erlegh Chiltern Edge.

“The uniform will be a slightly different style and the blazers and tie will have a new emblem on them. These are being supplied by the trust.

“As part of the process, money has been made available for refurbishments. There will also be some new staff and one of the deputy heads will be coming over to work here two days a week.”

After the last Ofsted inspection, the school was placed in special measures and threatened with closure.

The inspectors found that staff had low expectations of pupils and that teachers did not check work closely or challenge students effectively.

The school had also accumulated debts of about £500,000.

Miss Green said: “We have come a long way from when I first arrived.

“The financial problems have been resolved and lots of good stuff is happening at the school.

“We have a great team of staff working hard for the students.

“We’re excited about our results in August, the academisation securing the future of the school and the improvements we are already making.”

Miss Green said the school had achieved a number of successes recently, including winning the Ewelme maths challenge against Icknield Community College in Watlington, Gillotts School in Henley and Langtree School in Woodcote.

The year eight boys’ softball team has reached the Oxfordshire county finals and some year seven girls have won two national science competition finals.

A cake sale organised by students raised £152 for Alzheimer’s Society.

Miss Green said: “It has been a big challenge to do everything which has needed to be done. You take on a job like this because the rewards are tremendous.

“When you are working in a small school it means you are able to teach. I have been teaching GCSE maths and I feel like I am properly making a difference to those students.

“When you see their achievements and feel the school is going in the right direction, that is what the job is all about.

“It’s about making young people achieve their potential and seeing them do well. That is the rewarding part of working in education. It’s why you do the job.”

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