Head quits £24m academy after dire results

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THE headteacher of a failing academy has quit after only one in five pupils achieved the Government’s GCSE benchmark for the second year running.

Juliet Strang tendered her resignation with immediate effect after provisional figures showed only 20 per cent of pupils got A* to Cs GCSEs in five subjects, including Maths and English.

The £24m academy, in north Hull, was served with a pre-warning notice by the Government last year over “unacceptably low” standards after just 21 per cent achieved the standard, well below its predicted 43 per cent.

The 1,250 place school, whose main sponsor is the University of Hull, was forced to apologise last week after pupils had their results withheld in a row over payments for tablet computers.

Ms Strang was described by her new employers as “an absolutely outstanding educationalist”, insisting they were going to create “the next generation of world leaders” when she came to open the new school in 2012, which replaced Sir Henry Cooper School. But the 2013 results were 11 per cent down.

A letter from Lord Nash last December criticised the school for a lack of “rigour and urgency” in improving standards and said governors had not been effective in holding senior leaders to account.

It also identified “a lack of clarity” over the role sponsors - which also include Hull Council - were playing “to support and challenge” the academy to push up standards.

Dr Richard Heseltine, the University’s Librarian and chair of the governors, promised a “new chapter for the academy” announcing the appointment of Andrew Dulson, from Sirius Academy, also in Hull, as interim principal.

Sirus was judged oustanding in all areas by Ofsted earlier this year.

Dr Heseltine was not available for interview this afternoon.

In a statement Ms Strang said she had resigned following the “very disappointing” results, but had “no doubt” that the academy would flourish in the future.

Ward councillor Steve Bayes said the appointment of Andrew Dulson was a “step in the right direction.”