Sudden exit for Copley headteacher and deputy

THE HEADTEACHER of a Stalybridge high school has been suddenly replaced.

Sarah Gregory, principal at Copley Academy, is described as being ‘unavoidably absent’ from the Huddersfield Road site.

She and her deputy have both been moved aside and staff from the Rodillian Trust in West Yorkshire have been brought in.

Kenwyn Paddy has come in as acting principal with Danielle Williams as acting deputy.

And parents have been told the challenge of improving their childrens’ education is ‘significant.’

Allison Crompton CBE, chief executive of Great Academies Education Trust, which runs Copley Academy, wrote in a letter: “Mrs Gregory and her deputy Ms Walker-Maxey are both unavoidably absent from school. This has necessitated interim arrangements for leadership.

“I understand parents’ concerns particularly, as we are facing significant challenge to improve the quality of education for all your children.

“I want to reassure parents that we have secured experienced senior leaders to fill these positions.

“Mr Kenwyn Paddy will be acting principal and Ms Danielle Williams the acting deputy.

“Both Mr Paddy and Ms Williams have significant senior leadership experience working with the Rodillian Trust in West Yorkshire.

“We have specifically approached Rodillian because of their excellent track record in helping schools improve rapidly.

“I have put these arrangements in place as quickly as possible to ensure the smooth running of the school and informed you at the earliest possible opportunity.”

Mrs Gregory previously told the Correspondent of the job she faced at Copley and said she was already making progress.

She was part of the team that took Levenshulme High School for Girls in Manchester, from ‘special measures’ to ‘outstanding’ in three years.

With 25 years of experience Mrs Gregory, who took up the post in January last year, had the knowledge and skills to lead Copley Academy from the front.

She said: “I am absolutely committed to ensuring Copley Academy becomes a school where every young person it serves gains the skills and qualifications they need to move forward confidently and responsibly into adult life.

“We believe in equity of opportunity and know we have a uniquely important job to do in terms of raising the aspirations of our students as well as ensuring they all fulfil their potential.

“This is a huge responsibility and one we will meet head on over the weeks, months and years to come.

“We have a lot of hard work ahead but are already making gains.”

12 Replies to “Sudden exit for Copley headteacher and deputy”

  1. A letter was sent home with pupils today, it has not been published on the school website, the Ofsted monitoring letter from May has also not been published . I am devastated for the children who remain students of the school. I have little to no faith in Allison Crompton, given her previous letter to parents of Mrs Gregory’s glowing credentials and assurance improvements would be made.

    The Ofsted inspection report highlights lack of progress and found the improvement plan not fit for purpose. As a parent of a current year 11 student, the school drastically declined when the decision to remove Mr Jenkins as head was made.

    Under Mrs Gregory’s leadership the school has suffered a mass exodus of staff, in my opinion many were good engaging teachers with insight to the needs of the pupils and their families . My child being a year 10 student at the time, lost opportunities to learn and suffered as new teachers, who without knowledge of my child, failed to identify needs and build a relationship or grasp progress levels.

    My child is bright and able- though I feel their GCSE results will be poor due to totally inadequate teaching standards dogmatic and bullish leadership from the head who has demonstrated nothing but rhetoric!

    In our experience there are some very good teachers at the school Mr Kerwin – Math . Mr Rowlands , brilliant Geography teacher.

    However there have been many shocking experiences – German teacher has now left, my child found her intimidating. She took her personal life into work- crying in school witnessed by children etc.

    Mr Owens – Science teacher, mainly spoke about communism in class rather than teach science and my child fell significantly behind! (Private tutor helped but should not have been necessary).

    Duke of Edinburgh Award – despite parents, many on low income, having purchased full kit and equipment for their children, they did not get an opportunity to complete the award as the school insurance turnoff site activity was not renewed due to lack of funds!

    I do hope that for existing and new starters that positive changes can be made. I do wonder though how, while the school is in a huge deficit of budget, how this could possibly be achieved.

  2. And what will be done regarding the bullies in there. This is another big issue with that school.. not just there education

  3. Truth be known the Principal Sarah Gregory was fired and Alison Crompton is leaving also with a lovely £30,000 handshake – Even now the truth is still not coming out and cover ups are going on, the school was failing long before Sarah Gregory came and she had a mammoth task either way – Shocking way to treat Sarah Gregory as her heart was definitely in the school and wanting to make it better, albeit too many cutbacks, never enough money and Academies are not the way for schools as only class schools as businesses which schools can’t be considered as that, they should be back in control of Councils – Thank goodness my children go to a school and not an Academy!
    As for the two new people drafted in; Kerwyn Paddy and Danielle Williams, will be a great place to make your name as wouldn’t take a genius to sort it out but is the funding and compassion amongst others there anymore – Also; never good to blame previous people as to be fair to the teachers at Copley Academy, they are second to none as it is the running of the Trust for the Academy that should be under scrutiny.

    I wonder will this comment be shown as money can talk in certain areas.

  4. Y’all chatting s**t! Greggers was arrested! The Feds came and banged down the door with the big red key. Took ten cops to arrest her. There was even a chopper overhead!

  5. She is a very lovely lady with a big heart who has dedicated much of her life to education. She has done so much for staff and students and worked exceptionally hard. I wish her all the best . Let’s keep these comments kind, no need for anyone to be hurtful when she is probably going through a tough time, speculation isn’t helpful, especially when it is untrue and unkind.

  6. I agree that funding cuts are a huge issue. I totally agree that rumours and silly comments are both disrespectful to the school and harmful for the students .

    The ambiguous media reports and lack of clarity and assurance from the school has fuelled the rumour mill!

    I’m hearing some very worrying comments / speculation to the reasons behind the change in leadership arrangements. As a parent of a Copley pupil this is concerning and I urge the school to make clear that current and previous students will not be impacted by the departure.

    Kyla- your comments suggest that the departure of the head is not linked to any wrong doing school. Is this correct.

  7. We had are prom tonight at Smokies and it was totally amazing to see our old teachers their to make sure we was ok. We did a petition at school when we found out that they wouldn’t be aloud to come but no one listened. They helped us so much but wasn’t aloud to come in and that was so rong. Why not when they came t see us and caired so much. Shows school doesnt really think about us at all.

  8. Year 11,
    If you are truly leaving school and your spelling is as bad as that then it is no wonder the school is in special measures!
    Having worked at the school occasionally (not as a teacher) I always felt that the pupils were more in control than in other schools I have visited or worked in. When the bell went teachers were literally begging the students to attend detention so that they wouldn’t have to escalate the problem. Scruffy, low personal standards, very difficult for staff to raise enthusiasm amongst the pupils many of whom didn’t seem to come from aspirational families. Generations of failure and low expectations just feeds itself and difficult for most young people to build up enough personal momentum to break free of those low expectations. What I will say though is it certainly wasn’t the headmaster’s fault – she really did go the extra half mile to do the best that she could. Personally I think the building needs replacing, give them better and more inspired values and expect more from them in uniform and personal standards. Those who are in there at the moment are a lost cause but hopefully those joining in 3 years will be able to see a very different school.

  9. Jack, I think you mean headmistress. Well done, put down a child and all other children in the school. Does that make you feel good about yourself?

    Year 11 may have dyslexia or may not actually be a pupil. Scruffy, low personal standards – what an absolute generalization and insult. Shame on you !

    1. Totally agree with Jennifer, who do you think you are starting your comment with a massive insult to a young person ? Really Jack you seriously need to think before you type, that includes getting your own knowledge right in regards to gender of the Head, and her ability to manage the school as this is clearly a skill she was lacking.

  10. To be fair to the comment from Jack he has only pointed out the glaringly obvious re the school standards and that is no reflection on the teachers but more the very low standard of living and poor social housing within the area as an awful lot of the students who attend Copley Academy come from poorer backgrounds and extremely low expectations where to earn a living it appears fine to be a drug runner or similar and students coming to school high is quite common place also.

    The correct terminology would be Headteacher or Principal if one prefers the American version.

    The above is not generalising but actual fact if one does one’s homework.

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