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Fresh concerns for Hope Academy after latest Ofsted visit
THERE are mounting concerns about standards of education at a £33million academy following a further visit by Ofsted inspectors last week, the Star understands.
Hope Academy, in Newton-le-Willows, received its latest monitoring visit by watchdogs after an inspection last April ruled it “required improvement”.
Previous follow-up visits to the secondary school – which as an academy sits outside the control of St Helens Council – have found that progress was slow.
And it is understood it was last week’s visit that has prompted further concerns.
The Academy’s chair of governors Bart McGettrick responded “no comment” when contacted by the Star on Tuesday and asked about the findings of its most recent Ofsted visit.
A governors meeting was due to take place last night.
Ofsted says its reports can take four weeks until publication and that it cannot comment publically until then.
But teaching leaders are often given verbal reports after inspections and are told what to expect.
Hope was created following a merger between Newton High and St Aelreds Catholic secondary school. A new school was built and opened in the autumn of 2011. On its website the academy boasts it has some of the best facilities in Europe.
Speaking to the Star last year, academy principal John Gannon stressed the merger had brought with it historical issues from the former schools that would take time to resolve.
The academy is sponsored by the Catholic Archdiocese of Liverpool, the Church of England Diocese of Liverpool and Liverpool Hope University.
St Helens Council does not have control over the academy, however, given that it has a wider responsibility for education across the borough senior politicians are believed to be keeping a close eye on developments at Hope.
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