A new principal is to take over at St Ivo Academy in St Ives, where a parents forum was set up earlier this year “to bring concerns to the fore” about the running of the school.
Tony Meneaugh is currently the vice principal and designated safeguarding lead at Longsands Academy in St Neots, also part of the Astrea Academy Trust family of schools.
Prior to this he was the senior deputy headteacher at The Deepings School.
“Tony is an experienced school leader with 15 years of experience in senior leadership positions, and his areas of expertise are school development and improvement,” said a spokesperson for Astrea.
“In every school he has worked in as a senior leader, there has been an improvement in the Ofsted rating.
“Tony will replace Tim Blake who has been in post as interim principal throughout the summer term, and he is looking forward to continuing the progress made under Tim’s leadership, and further engaging with parents and the local community to ensure St Ivo is the best school it can be.”
Mr Meneaugh, said: “I am delighted to be joining the Ivo in September.”
“I believe that being a highly visible and positive role model for all adults and students in the school is a key attribute of an effective leader.
“Clear communication of our vision, values and expectations gives everyone the information they need to not only succeed individually, but also contribute to the rapid improvement in education that everyone in our school community deserves.”
“I strongly believe that an excellent education acts like a passport for young people to be able to choose the future they want; that maximising their future opportunities, whatever they may desire them to be, is the fundamental purpose of education.
“The acquisition of qualifications, knowledge, skills and understanding can open a range of doors for students; the development of social and emotional skills and an awareness and appreciation of cultures and experiences beyond their own enable them to become truly integrated partners in our diverse and inclusive world.”
Rowena Hackwood, chief executive of Astrea Academy Trust, said: “I am so pleased to welcome Tony to St Ivo Academy.
“He is a brilliant leader, and I know he will serve the students, staff, and school community with dedication.
“It is an exciting time at St Ivo, and the school has already made so much progress under its interim principal Tim Blake.
“I would like to thank Tim for having agreed to lead the school over the summer term, and his hard work over recent months. I look forward to continuing to work with him across the trust.”
Some 500 plus parents and carers of pupils at St Ivo joined the forum after its launch.
On its website it said the aim of its first meeting – attended by more than 100 people – was to bring concerns to the fore and “start to build a pathway that helps our children and teachers enjoy their learning and teaching, in a safe and happy environment”.
They listed their main concerns as:
- The behaviour and uniform policy and their implementation
- The recent curriculum and GCSE changes announced by Astrea (Jan 23)
- The negative, mental-health impact the atmosphere at St Ivo Academy is having on students and teachers
Their website says: “After commissioning a parent survey of over 400 parents, we realised that Astrea were failing children, and teachers, at the school.
“We lodged a formal complaint on 20th February 2023 with Astrea because over 100 parents had tried to raise their own complaints and did not receive a satisfactory response or even a response at all.”
The forum is yet to comment publicly on the new principal appointment.
One of many issues raised by the forum was the lack of full-time teachers.
“71% of parents (315 surveyed) say their children have had a period of time without a regular teacher, or without a specialist teacher (and 18% say they don’t know whether they have or not). There are many comments about ineffective supply teaching,” they pointed out earlier this year.
“Over half of respondents (57% of 315 surveyed) have had concerns about their child’s mental health and/or wellbeing.
“Of these, 61 respondents (19%) say their child has missed school sessions because of mental health or wellbeing issues. 81 have accessed or tried to access mental health support for their child – that’s 26% of all respondents.”
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