MP backs action plan for Spalding Academy

ACTION PLAN: Students proudly wearing their new uniform at Spalding Academy are (from back) Liberty Studd, Ellis Taylor Williams, Arturs Novikovs, Elliot Bryan, Grace Woods, (middle) Joao Nunes, Bridie Short, Leon Lin, Olivia Woods, (front) Riley Pickering, Jan Ziga, Annie Shields and Archie Bradford.  Photo by Tim Wilson.  SG110117-100TW.
 ANL-171101-145823001
ACTION PLAN: Students proudly wearing their new uniform at Spalding Academy are (from back) Liberty Studd, Ellis Taylor Williams, Arturs Novikovs, Elliot Bryan, Grace Woods, (middle) Joao Nunes, Bridie Short, Leon Lin, Olivia Woods, (front) Riley Pickering, Jan Ziga, Annie Shields and Archie Bradford. Photo by Tim Wilson. SG110117-100TW. ANL-171101-145823001
  • Hayes’ excitement over two-year drive for success
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A two-year action plan drawn up by senior teachers at Spalding Academy to turn around its fortunes has gained full backing from MP John Hayes.

More courses, changes to teaching groups, home study aids, mixed tutor groups and a “zero tolerance” policy towards bad behaviour have been introduced at the school in Neville Avenue.

BRIGHT FUTURES: Laurence Reilly, executive head teacher of Spalding Academy, with its senior leadership team and students outside the school's main entrance.  Photo by Tim Wilson.  SG110117-103TW.

BRIGHT FUTURES: Laurence Reilly, executive head teacher of Spalding Academy, with its senior leadership team and students outside the school's main entrance. Photo by Tim Wilson. SG110117-103TW.

Mr Hayes, MP for South Holland and the Deepings, held extensive talks with executive head teacher Laurence Reilly on Friday about an “Operational Rapid Improvement Team” (ORIT) brought in from Bourne Academy which runs Spalding Academy.

The two schools came together as the South Lincolnshire Academies Trust on September 1, 2016, after GCSE results in English and maths last summer at the former Sir John Gleed School were more than 30 per cent lower than at Bourne Academy.

Mr Reilly said: “I don’t know the past about the Gleed experience but the ongoing project at Spalding Academy is an exciting one.

“What we’re doing is to offer a high-quality education, just as we do at Bourne Academy, but it’s not rocket science.”

The ongoing project at Spalding Academy is an exciting one and what we’re doing is to offer a high-quality education, just as we do at Bourne Academy

Laurence Reilly, executive head teacher, Spalding Academy

The full programme of action to raise educational standards at Spalding Academy has been unveiled after talks between its head and MP John Hayes.

Laurence Reilly, executive head teacher of both Spalding and Bourne Academies, discussed a two-year “intensive programme” of measures put in place on September 1, 2016, to drive up the academic performance of students.

Mr Reilly, deputy executive head teacher Lucy Conley and an “Operational Rapid Improvement Team” (ORIT) run both schools, with each team member responsible for “areas of speciality” from curriculum and discipline to learning and teaching.

Speaking to the Spalding Guardian on Tuesday, Mr Reilly said: “All subjects at the two schools have been paired in order to share resources and best practice under the line management of an ORIT member.

“A large number of staff at what was previously Sir John Gleed School have had their roles adapted to match the new leadership and management model, with them all showing tremendous capacity to make a positive contribution to the school.

“There is now a zero tolerance of poor behaviour and students appreciate the firm, fair and consistent ethos that is now in place throughout the school.

“As a result, I have sensed a change of mood, atmosphere and outlook at Spalding Academy since September.”

Mr Hayes said: “I was very impressed by Mr Reilly’s commitment to good order and discipline throughout the school, his determination to raise academic standards and his ability to attract some new and very good staff.

“His ideas are all new and I’m quite excited about that.”

Students at Spalding Academy are to be given a chance to emulate Wordsworth, Tennyson and Shakespeare by entering a poetry competition sponsored by John Hayes MP.

With a chance to have tea at the Houses of Parliament in London, the competition will see two winners emerge, one each from Years 7 to 9 and 10 to 11.

Mr Hayes said: “I told Laurence Reilly that I would help in any way I could and the first thing I’ve done is to set students a challenge of writing a poem, to be judged and rewarded by me.”