Harold Hill school that ended academic year in turmoil positive about new term

17:32 29 August 2014

School sign of the former Brookside Junior School

School sign of the former Brookside Junior School


A troubled junior school that ended the last academic year in turmoil after the exit of its headteacher has said it has brought in a range of improvement measures for the forthcoming term.


When a school converts to an academy it becomes independent from local authority control and is directly funded from central government.

Academies are self-governing but must meet the same National Curriculum core subject requirement as state controlled schools and continue to be subject to inspection by Ofsted.

The Drapers Multi-Academy Trust currently supports three schools.

On its website it states: “We are committed in achieving rapid and sustained improvements in all schools that become a part of the trust. We deliver this through providing excellent leadership and strategy, and providing the support of the Trust Governors who have exceptional experience in leading positive change in education.”

Drapers Brookside Junior School, in Dagnam Park Drive, Harold Hill, converted to an academy on July 1 and is set to reopen its doors on Wednesday with a new headteacher and full cohort of teaching staff.

In June the Recorder reported that the Adrian McNeillis, the school’s headteacher, had been removed from his post after warning parents that “turbulence” was set to continue and that it may not be possible to fill all teaching posts.

But, Stephen Foakes, chair of governors for the school, has been able to confirm that all teaching positions have been filled and Angela Winch, headteacher of neighbouring Brookside Infant School, will be leading the staff in September.

Mr Foakes said: “The news has been very well received by the local community because the infant school is an outstanding rated school and she is well known. We have full staff for the start of the Autumn term and we have done a lot of refurbishment of the school.”

During the 2012/2013 academic year the then named Brookside Junior School was the only council controlled primary school in Havering that failed to meet the floor standard of 60per cent of students reaching level four or above in reading, writing and maths.

Mr Foakes said that several measures had been introduced to drive up standards.

These include enlisting the support of Ian Gunn, headteacher of the outstanding rated St Peter’s School, in Brentwood, and working with a school improvement partner from Havering Council.

Drapers Multi-Academy Trust, which is supporting the academy, has provided new uniforms for students this September. New systems to support the teaching of reading, literacy and numeracy have also been introduced and the building of a reading hut in the school’s grounds is planned.

Does your child attend Drapers Brookside Junior School? What do you think?

Related links:

Super-head removed from post after ‘school turbulence’ note to parents

Council seeks to calm nerves at Brookside Junior School after super-head’s dismissal


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