Governors out in the cold at failing school

The entrance to the new Mexborough School building Picture: Marie Caley S2684MC
The entrance to the new Mexborough School building Picture: Marie Caley S2684MC
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THE governors of a troubled Doncaster school were suspended yesterday as education chiefs decided the best way forward is to make it into an academy.

Mexborough School Specialist Science College failed an Ofsted inspection in January and was placed in special measures, putting the local authority under pressure to come up with a quick fix.

Yesterday’s Cabinet meeting backed the new headteacher, Mirjam Buhler-Willey, who has had only a few months to turn things around.

But councillors decided the governing body had to go because “the persons responsible for leading, managing or governing the school are not demonstrating the capacity to secure the necessary improvement”.

Director of Children’s Services, Chris Pratt, said he had confidence in Ms Buhler-Willey’s ability to exercise the necessary leadership to improve standards and take Mexborough School out of special measures.

Suspending the governors means control of the school’s budget and staffing will be taken over by Doncaster Council and the head will be given support to make rapid and major improvements.

Coun Andrea Milner, cabinet member for children’s services, also said the council should use its powers to convert Mexborough School into an Academy and to seek sponsorship as “the most appropriate way of securing an improvement”.

Mayor Peter Davies said it gave them no pleasure to have a school in special measures “but this shows we are not prepared to tolerate poor education in Doncaster and we need to ameliorate the situation”.

He added both Mexborough and Thorne used to have good grammar schools until they were “destroyed”.

He said: “Hopefully a first class academy provider will be prevailed upon to take on Mexborough. This is bad news but good. I think Mexborough deserves a good school.”