Headteacher’s plans for failing Manor Academy

NMAC11-3326-1  ''Mansfield Woodhouse Manor Academy
NMAC11-3326-1 ''Mansfield Woodhouse Manor Academy

An under-fire academy headteacher has outlined her plans after holding crisis talks with parents.

Donna Trusler, from Manor Academy in Mansfield Woodhouse, organised the crunch talks after the school was dropped into special measures following a recent Ofsted report.

The report found the Park Hall Road school was struggling in every area assessed, and sparked a backlash from some angry parents who have called for her to step down.

Although the Chad was not permitted to enter the meeting which saw about 170 people attend, Mrs Trusler handed over a copy of the action plan she has put together in a bid to turn the school’s fortunes around.

She highlighted leadership and management improvements as ‘priority one’ after it was criticised heavily by Ofsted, with ‘enhanced training for all leaders’.

In terms of teaching, the curriculum for each pupil will be reviewed by the headteacher and deputy headteacher, while a closer collaboration with parents is being promised.

This culminated in a parents’ forum being set up, with 20 agreeing to join the new body.

Mrs Trusler also tried to reassure parents that GCSE results would be above the minimum pass rates set by the Government of 40 per cent of students gaining five A* to C grades.

She said the staff are predicting the school will replicate last year’s results to ‘compete with national levels for average point score’.

“There are concerns and we understand that,” Mrs Trusler said.

“I’d like to thank the parents who came and the many positive comments we have received subsequently.

“For those who raised particular issues involving their children, I hope they were reassured by the responses they received.

“We haven’t got things right in the past - we are determined to move forward with parental support.

“All of the time, our focus remains on our children and, in particular, giving our current year 11s and year 13s the support they need as we enter the crucial examination period.”

With Ofsted due to return within three months, Mrs Trusler added: “We have to make progress and show we are turning it around by then.”

However, parent Sarah Pepper was not convinced by the meeting.

She said: “She gave us the presentation and there was nothing about what they’re going to do for the students, it was all about benchmarks and targets.

“She was unprepared for the questions, although she did say she took full responsibility. I’m not sure that many came away feeling any better.”