THE headteacher of Tudor Grange Academy Redditch has admitted she is disappointed by the number of pupils enrolling in September – but says their GCSE results this summer will give parents the confidence to give the school their backing.
And she strongly denies the suggestion the school is in crisis.
Last week we revealed how the school, with a 180 places available for Year 7 pupils, will have an intake of just 19 in September while the figures for Year 9 showed a maximum of 58 joining from 280 places available.
However Rose Rees said the school had considered all scenarios after pushing for the introduction of a two-tier system of education in Redditch, in competition to the town’s traditional three-tier.
“The figures were down towards the bottom end of planning and scenario thinking – we had hoped there would be enough confidence for people to move forward with us,” she said.
“For Year 7 I thought we would have between 45 and 90 pupils. I had met with parents and parents have a lot of choices and they told me it wasn’t about Tudor Grange but they wanted confidence the results last year were going to be consistently good.
“Now I believe that when this year’s results come out we will show this. We had the second best outcomes in Redditch in our first year of operating as Tudor Grange Academy Redditch against a background of schools struggling nationally,” said Mrs Rees.
She acknowledged the falling rolls would have a financial impact on the school – TGAR has a capacity for 1,000 students but could have as few as 460 – but that this would be mitigated as they are part of a multi-academy trust.
If we had been a single academy these figures would have been catastrophic, but we are part of a multi-academy trust.
“We have worked hard at looking at economies of scale and sharing teachers, for instance music teachers, a subject we have re-introduced to the curriculum. Ou re-structuring of the organisation has brought major benefits,” she said.
Since our article Mrs Rees has written to parents, posted a response on the school website at http://bit.ly/23L2kyi and arranged meetings with parents – the first was on Wednesday with a second this Monday (April 25). In addition she has offered to meet personally with parents.
“I would like to think we are providing an outstanding educational experience, both in school and out of schjool, and our outcomes are the best in Redditch, for pupils of all abilities, and that people may not like us but they respect,” she added.