Stockton’s new MP has welcomed a move to send a crack team to turn round a struggling local school.
After meeting Lord Agnew, (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Education) Matt Vickers, MP for Stockton South, said the appointment of the Falcon Education Academies Trust to take on Thornaby Academy demonstrated the Government’s commitment to improve educational opportunities for all children in the North-East.
Thornaby Academy is an 11-16 community school rated as Inadequate by the schools watchdog Ofsted. Pupil numbers have been falling: last year the 750-capacity school had only 350 pupils.
Matt backed the decision to appoint the Falcon Trust as good news for existing and future pupils at the school.
“This change offers a real opportunity to improve the school. The people behind the Falcon Trust have a proven track record of turning round schools facing the most challenging circumstances.
“I look forward to working with the school’s new leadership team as MP to do anything I can to drive up standards and aspiration.”
The Office of the Regional Schools Commissioner for the north of England will oversee the transfer of Thornaby Academy from its current sponsor to the Falcon Education Academies Trust early in the New Year, subject to due diligence and legal agreements.
The Falcon trust has been established to take on and run schools in the north with a history of under-performance in academic standards or with financial issues. Many may be in areas of deprivation. Its leaders have a track record in school improvement and financial management.
It is chaired by David Earnshaw CBE who is chair of trustees as Outwood Grange Academies Trust which runs six successful academy schools on Teesside.
Chief executive officer is Gareth Mason who said: “We want to provide the pupils at Thornaby Academy, both now and in the future, with the high quality education they deserve.
“Falcon has a model of school improvement that is underpinned by an understanding of support and collaboration across one of the most successful Trusts in the country. We will be using that experience and expertise to deliver a positive result for Thornaby and its pupils.”