Turnaround will not be overnight says school boss

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The new boss of an academy chain has vowed to deliver improvements after new league tables showed their schools to be significantly behind the national average in progress and results of GCSE pupils.

The government has produced performance tables measuring academy trusts’ performance for the first time.

They show how each trust’s academies perform overall at GCSE and primary school Sats tests.

Trusts are rated as being significantly above or below the national average or close to it.

At secondary level three trusts in West Yorkshire were significantly below the national average and one is significantly above it, based on results from 2015.

Those below the national average were School Partnership Trust Academies, which runs more than 40 schools across the region, Wakefield City Academies Trust (WCAT) which has been backed by the government to take on more schools in the North and White Rose Academies which runs three schools in Leeds.

WCAT runs a chain of 19 schools.

The organisation was among the first in the country to be designated as a Teaching School.

WCAT is under new leadership as current chief executive Alan Yellup is on personal leave.

Interim chief executive Mike Ramsay said: “We accept, on the face of it, the trust’s position in these tables is not where we want to be.

“However, the trust, over the last two years, has agreed to take on academies in some of the Yorkshire region’s most challenged communities.

“While some are already demonstrating outstanding practice, turning a school around cannot be done overnight.”

White Rose Academies runs Leeds East, Leeds West and Leeds City Academies.

Both Leeds East and Leeds City’s GCSE results were below the government benchmark of 40 per cent of pupils getting five good grades including English and maths last year but both schools did see big improvements on the previous year.

Trusts ranked as “significantly above” average for pupils progress and improvement included Outwood Grange Academies Trust.

Schools in the Wakefield City Academies Trust include:

Wakefield City Academy.

The Freeston Academy, Normanton.

Kinsley Academy.

Hemsworth Arts and Community

Academy.

Bell Lane Academy, Ackworth.

Havercroft Academy.

Heath View Academy, Wakefield.West End Academy, Hemsworth.