First steps to close Queen's School made

PUBLISHED: 12:32 22 January 2007 | UPDATED: 19:54 01 June 2010

EDUCATION chiefs have taken the first steps in their ambitious plans to close a failing secondary school in Fenland and replace it with a new one. Cambridgeshire County Council and the Interim Executive Board (IEB) at the Queen s School in Wisbech have fo

EDUCATION chiefs have taken the first steps in their ambitious plans to close a failing secondary school in Fenland and replace it with a new one.

Cambridgeshire County Council and the Interim Executive Board (IEB) at the Queen's School in Wisbech have formally applied to close the school on August 31 2007.

It is then intended to open it again the following day with a new name and identity.

The new school will be established jointly by the county council and the College of West Anglia under the Government's Fresh Start scheme.

The government programme involves closing a school and opening a replacement one on the same site, the move has to have approval from the Department of Education and Skills (DfES).

The move is part of the county council's bid to turn around the school's performance, which was placed on special measures after it received a damming Ofsted report last year.

The proposal to close and re-open the school will be subject to a four-week consultation period, which will end on February 16.

Councillor Jill Tuck, chairman of the IEB, said: "This is an exciting time for the Queen's School and its future.

"The aim behind the proposals is to ensure that continuing presence of all-through maintained secondary education within Wisbech.

"The curriculum will follow current guidance to promote citizenship and personal health and social education."

She added: "The school has already shown improvement under the leadership of the IEB and executive headteacher Tony Cooper, and these proposals represent the next stage of our determination to turn the school around and give pupils the high standards of education they expect and deserve."

The new school will be a foundation school catering for 1,500 boys and girls aged 11 to 16 years and will be situated in the same buildings and on the same site as the current school on Corporation Road in Wisbech.

Students would move to the College of West Anglia for post-16 provision.

The school was placed on special measures last year following a critical Ofsted report, which said it was inadequate in almost all areas.

The inspectors said children were not enjoying learning there was disruption in the classroom and there had been an escalation of racist bullying.

Following Ofsted's report the county council was given greater powers of intervention and the school's governing body was replaced and a new interim executive board set up.

The former headteacher Stephen McKenna resigned just before the summer break and Mr Cooper head of the Cottenham Village College was drafted in for a year as the executive headteacher.


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