Struggling Catholic secondary schools to get new leader

Councillor Sue Murphy believes the changes can drive forwards a new era in education

Councillor Sue Murphy believes the changes can drive forwards a new era in education

First published in News

AN EXECUTIVE head teacher will be recruited to manage two under-performing Catholic secondary schools, it has been announced.

A new leader will be brought in to oversee St Cuthbert’s Catholic High School in Parr before also taking control of St Augustines at Blackbrook at a later date.

Both schools have been criticised by Ofsted in recent inspections. St Cuthberts was informed that it required improvement following a visit by inspectors 15 month ago.

Meanwhile, St Augustines was deemed “inadequate” last year and deemed to have “serious weaknesses” following a visit by the education watchdog.

St Helens Council, which is under pressure to improve the performance of its secondary education schools across the board, announced the move.

Its bold claim is that it will take the “schools into a new educational dimension”.

Councillor Sue Murphy, cabinet member for schools and lifelong learning at the council, said: “Executive headship is not headship of a school, it is system leadership which is why so many schools are now taking this approach to move forward into a new era of education.”

A St Helens Council statement added: “The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Liverpool has set out an ambitious vision for the future of education and believes the new post will help to build on the successes of both schools while helping to deliver the new plan.

“They say that this is an opportunity for an inspirational senior leader in Catholic Education to build on the good practice in both schools and take them both to “outstanding” examples of Catholic schools.

“The two schools operate independently of each other, from their own sites, and will continue to do so in the future, retaining their own specific identities as they serve their own communities in St Helens.

“They will each continue to have their own governing bodies and head of school.

“The governing bodies and the Archdiocese acknowledge the importance of the role of the Catholic Executive Headteacher and will actively offer long term support, encouragement, affirmation and realistic challenge to the successful candidate.”

The council added that at an “appropriate time in the future” the candidate appointed executive head teacher would oversee St Augustines.

Tim Warren, Director of Education at the Archdiocese of Liverpool, said: “The appointment of an executive head teacher is an exciting proposal which will ensure the continued provision of high quality Catholic education both in Blackbrook and Sutton/Parr.

“We offer our continued support to both schools."

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