Uncertainty continues as Callicroft School fails to recruit new headteacher

Callicroft Primary School, Rodway Road, Patchway, Bristol.

The process of recruiting a new headteacher for Callicroft Primary School has suffered a setback after just two people applied for the job, which had been advertised nationally in January.

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)


  1. Its a shame really Callicroft use to be one of the top schools in the area and now look at it.
    My daughter goes there and i have seen such a decline in her learning. It doesnt help that they had to take extra pupils from the new housing estate , but no extra teachers to help with the increase in numbers.

    Just hope who ever they get, can help bring it back up to standard.

  2. yes its a shame, all my kids went there and it was a good school,who can forget mrs white and the headmaster whose name evades me.i can remember the outside swimming pool and the games of football on the pitch not to mention a couple of domestic rows at the gates.

  3. In January an extra class was formed, which has helped one of my children who was going backwards in an oversized class and is now coping better with the smaller size.

    I hope they find a suitable head soon that can really inspire the teachers, kids, and parents and become proud of the school again

  4. thats right mr allsop,i remember my son was playing football on an evening and one of his mates done a dangerous tackle ,mr allsop marched onto the pitch and marched him off to the changing rooms,i never ever forgot that,memories

  5. My first memory of Callicroft school was the headmistress think her name was mrs W something or another ,we had to do all our learning in the portable cabins they had on the playground because Coniston school wasn’t fully built then and that was where i was going to be going .Over a good many years the school was doing very well ok not as good as Coniston stats were but it was ok,,but then it started to go in decline and then it went into special measures status and that’s why it’s not got a very good reputation any more ,also the influx of new children doesn’t help with the class sizes ok they have an extra class now but they needed it before and they never did.also nobody really wants to send there children to Coniston anymore as that has declined over the last decade so they want to send them to Callicroft (how times change). Lets hope they find the right head teacher for the School and it goes up in the leaug

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