Whitehaven Academy

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from The Whitehaven Academy)
Jump to: navigation, search
The Whitehaven Academy
Type Academy
Headteacher Mr Warren Turner
The Whitehaven Academy is located in Cumbria
The Whitehaven Academy
The Whitehaven Academy
Location Cleator Moor Road

CA28 8TY
54°32′20″N 3°33′27″W / 54.53901°N 3.55741°W / 54.53901; -3.55741Coordinates: 54°32′20″N 3°33′27″W / 54.53901°N 3.55741°W / 54.53901; -3.55741
DfE URN 140406 Tables
Ofsted Reports Pre-academy reports
Students 900
Gender Coeducational
Ages 11–18
Website School homepage

The Whitehaven Academy (formerly Whitehaven School) is a comprehensive co-educational secondary school with academy status, located in Whitehaven, in west Cumbria, England. The school was established in 1984.[1]


A February 2011 report from the Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills said that the school 'has made inadequate progress in making improvements and demonstrating a better capacity for sustained improvement' in the previous two years, according to a report issued subsequent to an OFSTED team visit in January 2011. Lynette Norris who took over as headteacher in 2011 was described as bringing 'vision and energy' to the school since she took office.[2]

Bright Tribe Trust[edit]

The school converted to academy status in January 2014, sponsored by the Bright Tribe Trust.

In 2011 Lynette Norris was made the headteacher of 'Whitehaven School' after Malcolm Smith her predecessor retired after holding the role from a number of years. Ms Norris had previously taught at many schools in the area and at the time was currently a deputy headteacher. During Mid 2014 a letter to parents from The Bright Tribe Trusts Director of Education Professor David Hopkins stated that by mutual interest Lynette was stepping down as 'principal' of The Whitehaven Academy.

The letter stated that the vice principal Ms Jacki Smith would become acting principal for at least 12 months. During late 2014 Ms Smith informed students and staff that she would be leaving the academy due to personal reasons and her resignation would take effect as of 31st December 2014. After Jacki left Vanessa Ray the principal of the nearby West Lakes Academy took over as acting principal and was assisted by Yvonne Sharples from The Bright Tribe Trust.

In January 2015 it was announced by the Bright Tribe Trust that they had appointed a new principal who was moving to the academy from Newton Rigg College, Penrith where he was the director of studies. Mr Grant took up his position on 16 March 2015.

Mr. Grant was replaced by Mr. Warren Turner for the academic year 2016/17. Mr Turner had previously acted as Principal at Richard Rose Morton Academy in Carlisle.

In November 2016 the school was placed in special measures following an OFSTED inspection. [3] Parents, teachers, and politician were critical of the Trust. The building was physically deteriorating and was not watertight. Staff and parents were concerned about the lack of teaching resources and some teachers had been printing exam practice papers at home using their own materials, such was the shortage in school. Staff raised their concerns writing directly to the Regional Schools Commisioner, Ms Janet Renou, who claims she has been working with Bright Tribe and the Education and Skills Funding Agency to try to address the state of the building. [4]

Parents and staff remained dissatisfied: one child was taken to hospital after being hit by falling debris, one lunch session being stopped because rain was dripping on to food and rainwater falling on to electric sockets. The staff explained that much of the building had to be cordoned off when it rained. A series of strikes were planned for December 2017 and January 2018 to highlight the need for a new sponsor.[4]

On 30 November 2017 it was announced that a new sponsor would be found for the school, as the Bright Tribe Trust had relinquished control.[4] Bright Tribe, which runs nine other primary and secondary schools throughout the country, it confirmed that its chief operating officer, Mary McKeeman, was stepping down. It also pulled out of a proposed sponsorship of Haydon Bridge High School in Northumberland, as the school was running a increasing financial deficit.[5] Bright Tribe blames its failure on "historical underinvestment before its involvement". Ms Janet Renou said "...it is clear that a new sponsor is required to deliver the improvement needed to ensure pupils get the education they deserve – and the process of identifying an alternative is under way,” [4]

December 2017[edit]

The school is now in limbo, it does not have the option to return to local authority control. It cannot make long-term planning decisions, hire new permanent members of staff or organise pay rises. The government has no solution, struggling to find a new chain willing and able to take on the school which is in a precarious financial position.[6]

This has become a major political issue, as of 3 December 2017, 64 academy status schools are waiting to find a new sponsor after being abandoned by, or relinquished by their managing trust. Using the averages of 279 for state primary schools and 946 for state secondary schools this would mean over 40000 students are affected.[6]


In years 7 and 8, and in most cases year 9 students study the core subjects of the National Curriculum :English, Maths, Science and PE, and a range of other subjects to build core competencies and prepare for Key Stage 4. This is Key Stage 3. In Key Stage 4 ,years 10, 11 and some accelerated year 9 students study the core subjects alongside a range of options. These subjects are academic, vocational or a mixture of the two. This ensures they gain the necessary qualifications of Five As to Cs including Maths and English which the government requires. [7]

Key Stage 5 (Sixth Form) courses are provided for students who choose to continue their study at the academy. They have opportunity to study for AS Levels, A2 Levels and BTEC qualifications. [7]

Notable former pupils[edit]


  1. ^ Whitehaven School website
  2. ^ Clarke, Andrew (2011-02-17). "School 'fails to raise its standards' - Ofsted". Whitehaven News. CN Group. Retrieved 2011-04-14. 
  3. ^ "Troubled Cumbrian school plunged into special measures - official report | News & Star". www.newsandstar.co.uk. Retrieved 1 December 2017. 
  4. ^ a b c d Weale, Sally (30 November 2017). "Academy chain gives up control of school after campaign by parents". The Guardian. Retrieved 30 November 2017. 
  5. ^ "Bright Tribe Trust abandons failing school with 'increasing financial deficit'". Schools Week. 24 November 2017. Retrieved 30 November 2017. 
  6. ^ a b Perraudin, Frances (3 December 2017). "40,000 children trapped in 'zombie' academy schools". The Observer. Retrieved 3 December 2017. 
  7. ^ a b "Curriculum". The Whitehaven Academy. 5 February 2015. Retrieved 4 December 2017. 

External links[edit]