Until recently the Ridings Federation operated two local senior schools, one in Winterbourne and the other in Yate. Due to a series of missteps both are now being re-brokered. This came as a shock to all involved in the school.
On Tuesday 22nd of December there was a packed meeting of 300 parents, students and teachers where past, present and possible futures for Winterbourne International Academy were set out.
It is almost certain that WIA will be almost immediately taken over by another academy chain in a process controlled by the Department of Education.
Whilst questions remain about how this situation came about the most important thing is to ensure the most positive outcome from those available.
There are only two academy chains in the running one of which is the Oasis Learning Trust. We believe that Oasis is an unsuitable chain to take over Winterbourne International Academy because:
- their record of running academies is poor; only 2 of 44 reach even the national average;
- their ability to supply leadership and drive improvement, as measured by Ofsted, is poor;
- their reputation as an employer is poor;
- all their schools are ‘faith’ schools, backed by an evangelical charity;
- they are a huge national chain which will, be believe, reduce local involvement to the detriment of the school.
For a large proportion of those parents it is clear that our immediate aim must be to prevent the Oasis Learning Trust from taking over our school.