KENWYN Paddy, Copley Academy’s new acting headteacher, has a proven track record of transforming failing schools.
Mr Paddy, who has assisted three other schools in special measures, is confident he can transform the fortunes of the Stalybridge school which remains in special measures following a critical Ofsted report.That was reinforced by encouraging GCSE results which showed an overall improvement in English and maths while there were some high achievers.
“It is a step in the right direction. We are under monitoring by Ofsted and I am sure they will be encouraged by the steps we have taken,” he said.
Mr Paddy and his assistant Danielle Williams were recruited in June by Great Academies Education Trust, which runs from Copley Academy, from the Rodillian Trust in West Yorkshire.
In the four weeks before the summer break they were able to make an assessment of what was needed at Copley Academy.
When school returned, Mr Paddy had introduced the following:
• New behaviour system based on rewards.
• Focus on assessment and outcomes.
• Emphasis on teaching, learning and providing good lessons.
• Reform the school council to give students a voice.
Mr Paddy is looking forward to the challenge and working with a “committed staff who are enthused by the new systems” and keen to deliver improvements.
He said: “When I spoke to children they told me they want to be at a good school.
“My philosophy is that everyone deserves to get a good education. All children should be entitled to be safe and achieve academically.“That enhances life skills and opens up choices. If you don’t do well as school it narrows choices in later life.
“The focus will be on teaching, learning and the delivery of good lessons for students to get good outcomes.”
Mr Paddy was also encouraged by the response from parents at open evening.
“Some were nervous in the light of what has gone on, but the good news is that we have a full entry in year seven (this year’s newcomers),” he added.
Mr Paddy added Copley has a full complement of staff and there has been minimal change – only three new members for the start of the academic year.
Great Academy Education Trust has also provided two additional members of staff to support the school’s senior leadership.
They are Michelle Rathor, who helped turn around the fortunes of Great Ashton Academy, and Olivia Chambers, from Silver Springs Academy, Stalybridge, who will help children make the transition from primary to senior school and also work with special educational needs and disabilities.
Additionally, Great Academies Education Trust has appointed Brendan Loughran as its new CEO and he will be driving school Improvement.
The high GCSE achievers were:
Adam Dooley, from Dukinfield, had three grade nines in geography, physics and biology, three eights, two sevens and one six.
He is to study for A Levels in maths, geography and economics at Ashton Sixth Form College after which he may look for an apprenticeship.
Olivia Buckley, from Brushes, had three nines in English literature, English language and media studies, one eight, one seven and three sixes, but don’t mention music.
Her results were even more remarkable given her attendance over five years at Copley was only 50 per cent as she dealt with adversity in the form of health issues.
But with support from the school, Olivia achieved excellent results and will now study A Levels in history, politics, sociology and theology.
Max Ardern, from Stalybridge, had two grade nine in physics and English literature, one eight and five sevens.
He will study for A Levels in maths, physics and further maths at Ashton Sixth Form College and looking for a career in cosmology as he has had a lifelong love of space exploration.
Huma Nadeem, from Ashton, had a nine in media, five grade eight and three sevens.
She will take A Levels in chemistry, biology and maths at Ashton Sixth Form College and wants to be a dentist.
In her five years at Copley Academy, Huma had a 100 per cent attendance record which Mr Paddy described as an “amazing achievement”.