Yate Academy head singled out as ‘inspirational’

December 22 2018
Yate Academy head singled out as ‘inspirational’

The headteacher of Yate Academy has been praised at a South Gloucestershire cabinet meeting where school improvements were being discussed.

Education chiefs were unveiling 17 steps they may take to tackle the “toxic cocktail” of reasons why schools are struggling in the area. 

South Gloucestershire councillor Gareth Manson, who has led a cross-party taskforce to tackle the problem, said education is being hit by a “toxic cocktail” of poor performance, low funding and a relative lack of good or outstanding schools.  

But Council Leader Toby Savage singled out the work of Yate Academy’s headteacher, Isabel Ambrose as ‘inspirational’ and ‘extremely impressive’. He said: “How do we bottle what she is doing and other excellent practice and ensure that those who need help are given it?” 

At the meeting, Yate North councillor Mike Drew blamed some of the problems on the academisation programme, which he said had caused schools to deteriorate since he became a governor in 1985.

But Cllr Manson said the taskforce had attempted to avoid making political points and instead focused on the pragmatic steps to take.

The group has drawn up a list of recommendations it feels that the council should adopt to boost results.  It includes the council investigating why other authorities with similar levels of funding perform better and copying those initiatives.

If feels head teachers, chief executives of multi-academy trusts (MATs) trustees or directors, chairs of boards and members of MATs should report back to the council, while the council should remaining proactive in scrutinising the performance of academies even though they are outside its direct control.

South Gloucestershire schools are among the worst funded in England, and the council has tried various initiatives in recent years to improve educational attainment but with limited success.