When news happens, text SDE and your photos or videos to 80360. Or contact us by email and phone.
Chairman of the Southampton city academy backs staff after unrest
THE chairman of the Southampton city academy where pupils went on the rampage has admitted there is a “crisis” at the campus but said its leadership had his full support.
Evangelical minister Billy Kennedy, chairman of Oasis Southampton Partnership, which runs Oasis Academy Mayfield and Lords Hill, described efforts by the staff as “amazing”.
As previously reported in the Daily Echo, dozens of pupils went on the rampage causing hundreds of pounds worth of damage at the Woolston campus, formed from the merger of Grove Park and Woolston schools.
The students claimed to be protesting about the way the school, which opened six weeks ago, is organised and run. Since then Ofsted inspectors have confirmed they are looking into concerns raised at the school.
Writing to the Daily Echo in response to the recent problems, Mr Kennedy admitted the school had been hit by what he described as “teething problems”.
He said: “The merger of two schools, two cultures, two communities, two staff teams and two student bodies was never going to be an easy task. As in any new venture there are teething problems.
“These problems are being addressed as they arise. The principal, senior leadership team and staff are doing an amazing job in very difficult circumstances.
“This has not been helped by the vocal minority seeking to rubbish their efforts.”
Mr Kennedy also called on pupils and parents to pull together in a bid to make the new school a success.“ Since the incident, parents and pupils have posted messages on the Echo’s website complaining about the academy’s timetabling and organisation.
In an interview with the Daily Echo, head teacher Ruth Johnson denied there have been any management problems at the school.
Mr Kennedy said since the incident he had held meetings with the Academy Council as well as the school’s Parents Forum.
“Mrs Johnson outlined a strategy for dealing with the current crisis. She has our full support.”
Southampton City Council’s education boss Clive Webster has also pledged his support to Mrs Johnson.