Under-fire Mansfield Academy announces deal to join new trust

Manor Academy, Mansfield Woodhouse
Manor Academy, Mansfield Woodhouse

Mansfield’s troubled Manor Academy has announced it will be joining forces with other schools to help drag it out of special measures.

The Mansfield Woodhouse school hit the headlines earlier this year when it was heavily criticised by Ofsted inspectors, and crisis talks were held with worried parents.

In a new move, it has been announced the school will move away from its single status to join the existing multi-academy Two Counties Trust from September, becoming partners with Kirkby’s Ashfield School, Selston High School and Swanwick Hall School in Alfreton.

And Donna Trusler, Manor principal, is confident the move will only help the school, with all of the other member schools rated as “good” by Ofsted.

She said: “This is the right move at the right for the school.

“Instead of feeling isolated, we will be part of a bigger team, able to share ideas and best practice.

“Our staff will benefit from more training and career development opportunities, but I’m also sure there will be things the trust can learn from us.”

The scathing report by Ofsted said attempts by the school’s leaders to make improvements had been “too little, too late” and that every area of the school inspected either required improvement or was simply inadequate.

Despite some calls for Mrs Trusler to step down after little more than a year in charge of the Park Hall Road school, she said she would remain at the helm and do her utmost to turn the school’s fortunes around.

This includes improving the school’s GCSE results, which remain below the national average.

The Two Counties Trust has welcomed Manor Academy.

Dick Vasey, chief executive officer, said: “We believe this is the perfect fit, it’s another local school in our trust that is determined to focus on what is in the best interests of the children.

“We’re confident we can support colleagues in helping turn the Manor Academy around.

“We’ve agreed its improvement actin plan and are looking forward to having an immediate impact.

“The trust has a clear mission to transform the lives of children and young people.”