Academies are damaging our children's life chances and putting our most seasoned educationists out of action

6th February 2009 at 00:00

The new chief executive of the Richard Rose Federation in Carlisle is a highly experienced educationist with an excellent track record in education. Wasn't there someone from the health service free? What about Ed Balls' excellent suggestion, made less than a year ago, that we employ people from the banking sector to run federations of schools?

I note that a new headteacher has also been appointed at Richard Rose Central Academy in Carlisle. I earnestly hope he has the full authority normally associated with this post. Mr Yearsley, the departing director, is an excellent head. Read the Ofsted reports for his previous school, North Cumbria Technology College, if you want confirmation.

If you read the report on Richard Rose, you might get the impression that it was the overall management structure of the federation that was the problem. You might also glean that the state of one of its predecessor schools was unknown on formation of the academy. And you will see the beginnings of recovery. All Mr Yearsley required was the authority of a head and time.

For the sake of the children at Richard Rose, I wish the new regime well. However, I believe it has lost an excellent head who would have delivered a new academy on a grand scale. The nature of his departure means it is likely that his talents, determination and passion for education will be lost to the area.

Jonathan Parkinson, Headteacher, St Thomas More Catholic School, Blaydon, Tyne and Wear.

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