Future bright at Trinity Catholic School at start of new academic year - The Leamington Observer

Future bright at Trinity Catholic School at start of new academic year

Ian Hughes 2nd Sep, 2019   0

THE FUTURE is looking bright for Trinity Catholic School in Leamington.

There is renewed optimism at the Guy’s Cliffe Avenue secondary school at the start of the new academic year after it was faced with the real possibility of closure just 12 months ago.

The school was £900,000 in debt and struggling to make ends meet which last September led to the board of governors being replaced by an Interim Executive Board (IEB). It also saw then headteacher Chris Gabbett replaced by Jon Shires.

While it has not been plain sailing for the IEB, together with the school’s management, there has been a major turnaround in Trinity’s fortunes.

IEB chair Clive Sentance, in an open letter to parents, said: The IEB has had to deal with some very significant failings of the previous head and certain governors. It is a tribute to the work of the staff and current leadership team at the school that despite all these past failings, Trinity still does have a future. A year ago the school was massively in debt, significantly over-spending, and with little or no chance of long term survival. That is not the case today.

“Thanks to some excellent work behind the scenes, particularly from our dynamic new business manager, the school is much more financially stable and in a good position to build up its numbers.”

Mr Sentance continued by saying the Archdiocese – the school is owned by the Diocesan Trustees of the Catholic Archdiocese of Birmingham – had no plans to close the school or relocate it to another site, adding it had commissioned a full report on the premises to identify necessary maintenance and improvements.

And the school also secured £225,000 from the Archdiocese to carry out improvement works at the school.

Mr Sentance also addressed concerns raised by some parents over changes to the school’s ethos which included pupils no longer being able to call staff by first names.

“We know some parents are concerned about perceived changes to the school ethos. Whilst there may be differing views about some of the changes that have been made, the IEB view is that these changes are essential to uphold the ethos of the school and will in no way affect the care and support that students receive from the dedicated staff employed at Trinity.

“I do acknowledge that some parents disagree with the decision of the school’s leadership team to change the convention around how staff are addressed. I accept that for most, this is from the best of motives and a reflection of good experiences of the school. At the heart of the Trinity School ethos are excellent relationships in school, and I am sure you will agree

that these have to be professional, warm and safe.

“The leadership have outlined a range of reasons why they have made this change, including strengthening our reputation amongst those not currently in the Trinity community and the need to ensure that the boundaries between staff and students are maintained at all times in line with best professional safeguarding practice.”

The IEB was originally appointed for 12 months but the school authorities have decided it will remain in place during the new academic year.


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