The position became vacant after the previous holder of the post, Sandra Lakeman, resigned suddenly last October.
Governers at the school have since decided that neither of the two applicants have “sufficient experience or skill” to support the school in implementing a set of measures aimed at improving standards.
According to the Bristol Post, Callicroft was ranked in the bottom 200 schools in the country for last year’s Key Stage 2 (KS2) test results, which showed that just 48% of Year 6 pupils at the school achieved the expected standard in maths and English, compared to an average of 81% across all schools in South Gloucestershire and 79% in England.
Callicroft is currently being led by the heads of two other local schools: Richard Clark (head of Stoke Lodge Primary) and Chris Dursley (head of Wheatfield Primary, Bradley Stoke).
Writing to parents in a recent school newsletter, Mr Clark said:
“Whilst we appreciate there has been quite a period of uncertainty, the governors wish to reassure parents and carers that they are working hard to ensure the best possible solution for the long term.”
“Chris Dursley and I wish to thank you for working with us and wish to reassure you that we will continue to secure the improvement needed in order to raise the school’s attainment and outcomes for all children.”
In the newsletter, Mr Clark outlines some of the improvements that governors and staff have been working on, which include:
- Improving the quality of teaching in English and maths
- Improving the leadership capacity and accountability
- Identifying children who are not making progress and ensuring focused interventions
- Raising expectations in what children can and should achieve
- Helping teachers manage behaviour more effectively in the classroom
- Improving the environment for teaching and learning across the school
With regard to the failure to appoint a new headteacher during the initial recruitment drive, Mr Clark adds:
“The Governors are currently working with the local authority to achieve a solution for the future.”
Related link: Schools in Patchway (The Journal)