‘Shockwaves’ at school’s poor rating

Education worries: Montgomery High School and (Below) Coun Don Clapham who has highlighted parents' concerns
Education worries: Montgomery High School and (Below) Coun Don Clapham who has highlighted parents' concerns
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Criticism of a Blackpool school has sent a “shockwave” through the local community, a leading councillor has revealed.

Coun Don Clapham, deputy leader of the Conservatives on Blackpool Council, said parents of children at Montgomery High School in Bispham had contacted him asking what to do.

Blackpool Councillor 'Coun Don Clapham

Blackpool Councillor 'Coun Don Clapham

Montgomery was rated ‘inadequate’ earlier this month in its first Ofsted inspection since it became an academy and leaving local authority control.

Previously the school, led by headteacher Simon Brennand, was given a ‘good rating’.

Coun Clapham, who was cabinet member for children’s services during the previous Tory administration, told a meeting of the council: “I know Simon Brennand and his staff are passionate but the small kick referred to in the press really was not within the scale of the shockwave that has gone through Blackpool North in terms of secondary education.

“I have received phone calls, Simon has received phone calls, children wanting to be moved to Hodgson, to move out of the area.

“They (parents) are desperate to know where to send their children.”

Coun Clapham said he knew resources would be targetted to ensure the situation was recovered as soon as possible.

But he warned: “These children get one shot at a good education and if things are failing around them, they fail when they leave school, and we are all the time picking up the pieces in Blackpool.”

Coun Ivan Taylor, cabinet member for education, said although Montgomery was now an academy in the control of its governing body, the council was offering support.

He said: “I don’t want the people of North Shore thinking suddenly their children at Montgomery are getting a rubbish education because they are not.”

Support is being offered to school

Ofsted inspectors said teachers were not challenging pupils enough so students were not making enough progress, and were failing to ensure pupils were getting a good education.

Coun Taylor told the meeting “whether they have been coasting or whatever, they have been told they must do better”, and he added “it is working because the school has recognised that.”

He said the council’s school improvement services had suffered as a result of cutbacks but support was being offered.