Academy appoints new official school champion representative

Academy appoints new official school champion representative

14th July 2015


THE transformation of an academy has come under the scrutiny of a mother of two after being appointed official school champion.

Anita Inglis has become the parents’ representative of Darlington’s St Aidan’s Academy monitoring group, which is charged with overseeing the implementation of recommendations made by Ofsted.

Head of business process for Japanese company Atoshu, Anita has a daughter and son at the school and agreed to become champion after being impressed with the new positive culture of the school.

She attends monitoring group meetings on a weekly basis voicing her opinions on progress at the Church of England academy.

The group monitors an agreed action plan and the rate of progress made to achieve its goals.

“I live close to the school and one of the biggest changes for me is seeing the children at home time,” she said.

“Once they could not get their ties off quick enough but now they wear their uniforms with pride, particularly the Year 11s who are allowed to wear special leavers hoodies.”

Her new role is giving her an insight into the radical changes that are succeeding in transforming the fortunes of the academy.

“The new principal, Nicole Gibbon, is absolutely amazing and has got the students and staff completely on board,” she said. “She wants the students to do well and has their best interests at heart.”

She said Mrs Gibbon and the newly restructured senior management team had introduced some crucial new systems that were working well.

These included behaviour, discipline and reward schemes, lesson management and revision sessions staged before and after school, at weekends and during the holidays.

“The take up of these sessions has been phenomenal with staff and students in early, late and during the holidays so they can secure better grades,” she said.

“My children are really well behaved and their friends are great, brilliant kids. My daughter loves the school, particularly the new discipline and at the last parents evening the difference in the staff was amazing. I came away feeling really positive and there is a real focus now on improving learning.”

Ofsted inspectors were very positive during their last visit recognising the level of progress at St Aidan’s, she said.

“There is a lot of work to do but we are moving in the right direction and making substantial progress,” she said. “It is a lovely school, quiet, calm, welcoming. There is such passion now to succeed and I’m sure that it is fast becoming the school of  choice for students and parents.”

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