The struggling school will be transferred to Outwood as its current sponsor, AET, faces a ‘no confidence’ vote from unions
— Read on www.gazettelive.co.uk/news/teesside-news/failing-school-taken-over-outwood-16228577
This is one of the last achievements of the Labour Council I was proud to be a Cabinet member in. I am sure that, had we not fought so hard for a better future for this school, it would still be in the hands of the discredited and cynical Academies Enterprise Trust (AET). Sue Jeffrey and I met with AET but nothing changed. Eventually we got a meeting with the Regional Schools Commissioner, but nothing changed. Finally we managed to get to the National Schools Commissioner in London, with our Director of Children’s Services and Head of Education. The National Commissioner obviously had a very close relationship with the CEO of AET, which raises a lot of issues in itself, but he agreed to come up to the school. The night before he came, part of the disused Eston Park site, which AET we’re responsible for, burnt down because they neglected it. The Council had to pay to demolish it because AET wouldn’t, and we couldn’t risk anyone getting injured or killed on the site. The public sector bailing out private business again. I went back down to London to see the National Commissioner yet again, even though he didn’t want me in the meeting, and finally the school has been taken away from AET. I know there have been problems with Outwood’s lack of inclusiveness and failure to understand the needs of all their pupils in the past, but I assume they have learnt their lesson from the publicity they received over that, and Ofsted’s new approach, and will give Hillsview the new start it really needs. Best wishes to all the staff, pupils parents and teachers there.
And to the incoming administration – this is how hard you have to work for the borough to make things change.