The time of turbulence for Canon Lee School is coming to an end, says Brian Crosby, executive principal of Hope Sentamu Learning Trust, who will be responsible for both Manor Church of England Academy and Canon Lee.
Mr Crosby wanted to reassure parents, students and staff of Canon Lee that Hope Sentamu Learning Trust is “in this for the long haul” and that Manor and Canon Lee would be sister secondary schools. Manor has an ‘outstanding’ rating by school inspectors Ofsted.
“Our main priority is to ensure there is outstanding teaching and learning in every classroom for every student and that behaviour in lessons and around school contributes to an effective learning environment,” he said.
“We believe every school should have its own identity and another early priority is to understand Canon Lee and to protect everything that is special about the school in this, its 70th anniversary year.”
A consultation evening for parents will be held before half term and Mr Crosby says he and his team will be meeting with staff as soon as possible. “It is our intention to see Canon Lee come out of special measures quickly but in reality, some of the changes will not be instantaneous.
“We’re not here to treat schools like a franchise, where everything is identical – we celebrate differences while ensuring a quality education for all our young people.”
A new principal is expected to be in place before the end of the academic year, to ensure continuity for the school when the Joseph Rowntree School involvement ceases at the end of June.
Mr Crosby is one of the handful of headteachers in York to be accredited as a National Leader of Education and Manor is classed as a National Support School. Hope Sentamu Learning Trust, therefore, through Manor, has a track record of supporting other schools and improving outcomes for young people.
“A good primary school/secondary school relationship is essential for ongoing success for Canon Lee,” he said. “We welcome all primaries in the area working together so we can establish a Clifton-wide strategy for school improvement.”
Burton Green Primary School has come to the end of its consultation to become an academy and join Hope and chair of governors Paul Black welcomed a similar move for Canon Lee. “Following a very thorough public consultation governors voted at the end of last term, with no dissenting voices, to join Hope Sentamu Learning Trust and continue our journey to becoming an outstanding school.
“We feed into Canon Lee and we are delighted that there is further clarification on their improvement, building on the great work that has already begun.
“By keeping the school leadership and commitment within the immediate schools closest to it, this will help support the whole community in transforming Canon Lee.”
Mr Crosby said there was a positive relationship between Hope and Canon Lee’s governing body and there was ongoing dialogue to strengthen it even further. “We believe in a strong local governing body, with active parental representation,” he said.
He said a medium term goal would be to develop effective partnerships between all secondaries within Hope, sharing staffing, expertise and resources. “Manor and Canon Lee have their own unique identities but we will operate across schools to offer more choice and greater opportunities for both institutions. There is every reason for Canon Lee parents to be optimistic for the future. As Manor parents and students are already aware, we work hard for success at every level.”
Mr Crosby is stepping down as principal of Manor at the end of the summer term to concentrate on his executive principal role within the Hope Sentamu Learning Trust, which was formed in April last year with Poppleton Ousebank Primary School. He will retain executive principal oversight of all secondary schools in the Trust.
Mr Crosby joined Manor as headteacher in 2002, when it had 640 pupils. In September it will have over 1,000. During his tenure, Manor has moved to a new site and achieved Oftsed ‘outstanding’ status in 2007 which it has held ever since. Earlier this year, Manor was commended for its work with Pupil Premium students and was named as one of the top 100 non-selective state schools in the country in the English Baccalaureate school performance measure.
Come say “Hi” to Chloe, Jo and Laura at the UK Careers Fair today, at the Novotel, York. Find out about careers in teaching and education with Hope Sentamu Learning Trust 👩🎓 hslt.academy/vacancies/ #HSLT #Careers #TeachingJobs #York #Hull #Scarborough pic.twitter.com/Oe4XmysOi9
What a wonderful day we've had, our first as Hope Sentamu Learning Trust! "This merger means we can continue to develop, collaboratively, as one Trust. We are committed to ensuring that pupils and colleagues are given opportunities so that they can live life to the full." pic.twitter.com/jWOacCMF5w
We are so lucky to have 15 wonderful schools in the Hope Sentamu family and can't wait to see what the future holds. Looking forward to living out our vision together 'Life in all its fullness – a place to thrive' buff.ly/3DvM4FT #excitingfuture #newbeginnings pic.twitter.com/iVk2zgnTSs
Absolutely thrilled that as of today we are @HopeSentamuLT! This follows an exciting merger between Hope Learning Trust and Sentamu Academy Learning Trust. We can't wait to see what the future holds! bit.ly/2Yf06vA #excitingfuture #newbeginnings pic.twitter.com/ls4thKnCj0