Wednesday, 02 December 2015

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New head at Cumbrian school plunged into special measures

A new executive headteacher has been appointed at St Benedict’s School in Whitehaven following its inadequate Ofsted report.

Matthew Carney photo
Father Matthew Carney

Related: Cumbrian school ‘determined to act’ after entering special measures

Ian Smith, who is head at Millom School, has taken over the post, with immediate effect, until December 31. He will be executive headteacher of both schools during that period.

It follows the publication of an Ofsted report last week which placed the school in special measures.

Mr Smith will take over from Ann Brook, who has been head at the school since March 2008.

She was previously the deputy head teacher for nine years.

The announcement of Mr Smith’s immediate appointment took place at a parents meeting at the school.

Father Matthew Carney, chair of governors, said: “After several years service to the school as deputy head and head teacher, Mrs Brook has decided that it is time to move on and allow the school to move in a new direction. Governors and staff wish her well for the future.”

A meeting was held at the school so parents could raise issues and concerns about the school’s latest Ofsted report, which deemed all aspects it covers as inadequate. Staff along with Mr Smith and representatives of the local education authority were questioned by parents.

Father Carney said: “Mr Smith said he will be spending the vast majority of his time at the St Benedict’s School until December 31.

During this time the governors will be trying to find a permanent head teacher.”

Mr Smith has played a huge role in turning round Millom School. The school was placed in special measures following an Ofsted visit in November 2007.

Since then Mr Smith has worked with staff to improve the school. In its latest Ofsted report, inspectors rated the school as “good with outstanding features”.


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