Experts drafted in to improve Cowes school

By Emily Pearce

Friday, January 25, 2013

 

Experts drafted in to improve Cowes school

The new Cowes Enterprise College, which is not yet ready for students. Picture by Robin Crossley.

EDUCATION experts have been hired to help turn around Cowes Enterprise College after Ofsted branded the school inadequate and placed it in special measures.

Hundreds of parents who attended a heated meeting at the school last night (Thursday) were told the experts, led by the former head of a three times outstanding school Nigel Blackburn, had been commissioned through Kent County Council.

They have been brought in by the Cowes Pathfinder Trust, which runs the school, in a bid to improve standards.

There were calls from parents for chair of governors Alan Wells to resign, and accusations the Isle of Wight Council's decision to close middle schools in favour of a two tier education system had let the Island's children down.

Interim principal James Stewart — drafted in to replace former head Jonathan Russell following his resignation just weeks after the Ofsted inspection — admitted standards were not good enough.

He said: "I'm passionate about what happens to the young people who come through this environment. I promise you now I will do everything I can to move things forward, because it has to be better than it is at the moment."

Parents criticised the school for failing to give their children a good education.

Some said their children had been taught by as many as seven maths teachers in one year, by supply teachers and by teachers who were unqualified — examples were given of a PE teacher taking a maths class, and a Spanish teacher who did not speak Spanish.

Reporter: emilyp@iwcpmail.co.uk

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