Academy plan for Calder High

Calder Higgh School, Mytholmroyd.
Calder Higgh School, Mytholmroyd.

CALDER HIGH School is set to become a sponsored academy in the new academic year as part of plans announced by the Department for Education.

The Mytholmroyd school, which was served with a notice to improve by Ofsted earlier this year, is one of the schools deemed “vulnerable” by the regulator.

Government policy states that the best way forward for schools in this category is for them to quickly become academies with the support of a suitable sponsor.

The school’s governing body is working with representatives from the Department for Education to find the best match in terms of a possible sponsor, with the aim of the school becoming a sponsored academy by September 2013.

Jeanne Watson, executive headteacher at Calder High School, said: “Our aim is to make sure that the students here continue to get the best possible education.

“We want to have a very transparent process so everybody knows what is happening. We promise to keep people as involved as possible.”

When more information is known, the school will organise a meeting with parents to discuss the process further.

The academy plan follows Ofsted’s notice to improve and a disappointing set of GCSE exam results this summer.

In a letter to parents, chairman of governors Rob Good said: “Clearly, our top priority is to ensure that students here continue to succeed and that turbulence is minimised.

“You have our assurance that we will act openly and honestly and in the best interests of our school.”

If the school becomes an academy, it will be free from local authority control; have more flexibility around delivery of the curriculum; be able to change the length of terms and the school day; and set its own pay and conditions for staff.

In other developments, Jeanne Watson and Mark Leicester will continue as executive headteacher and interim headteacher respectively until the end of the current academic year.

Carol Spillane has now formally resigned her post as Calder High’s headteacher.