ACADEMY: Frustration is growing

An open letter to Alexis Widdowson and the Board of Governors at Berwick Academy.

Friday, 22nd December 2017, 5:22 am

There is a growing feeling of frustration among a significant number of parents, pupils and the general public concerning the apparent inability of the Academy to show any significant improvement in the six years since academisation.

Ms Widdowson has now been the headteacher for approximately five years, yet the Academy still continues to get poor ratings from Ofsted.

Further frustration is caused by the lack of public engagement from the head and the Board of Governors.

There appears to be a climate of silence and secrecy around the upper echelons of the Academy, and a feeling of fear from the teachers, who it is believed feel unable to speak out about problems for fear of their jobs.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Having mentioned the teachers, there has been widespread praise for the work they do, but it seems they are in an impossible position, which has an adverse effect on their motivation and morale.

The role of school governors is surely to scrutinise the progress of the Academy and the performance of the senior staff in trying to direct towards improvement of academic achievements for the pupils.

The fact that there has been no significant progress in over five years should be ringing alarm bells for the governors, and all the way up the chain of command in the education department.

Could I suggest that a public meeting be called, early in the new year, to allow all stakeholders to air their grievances and to hear answers and suggestions as to how to improve the situation?

As I have said, there is a growing groundswell of public opinion that this situation cannot be tolerated any longer.

Please engage with the public, otherwise they will be left with no option other than to take more radical action.

Let’s try to resolve this before it comes to that.

Michael Stewart

Eastern Lane