Ely School recruits new teachers for turnaround

A SCHOOL under strict orders to improve has recruited a batch of new teachers to transform its fortunes.

Fresh blood was required at City of Ely Community College after the school was told bluntly of its “inadequate progress in making improvements” by Ofsted.

With criticisms about the “quality and consistency of teaching” ringing in their ears, 14 new teachers will now join the Downham Road school to spearhead the college’s fightback.

Principal Catherine Jenkinson-Dix said: “I am absolutely committed to ensuring our teaching is of the highest standards, which is why we are investing so much time in professional development and recruitment.”

City of Ely Community College celebrated record exam results this year, with 64 per cent of students bagging A*-C grades at A Level. The previous best was 58.5 per cent.

But in December 2009 Ofsted warned: “Aspects of self-evaluation at all levels of management, including teacher assessments, views of the quality of teaching and learning and governors’ perspectives, present an over-generous view of the college’s performance.”

Inspector Mark Phillips also slammed “inadequate progress in demonstrating a better capacity for sustained improvement” at a monitoring inspection.

As a result Ms Jenkinson-Dix said the “pick of the bunch” of teachers and school managers had been selected to help the school embark on a “tough going” plan for improvement.

“There is no place in our plan for the uncommitted or for those that don’t meet our high standards,” she said.

The headteacher said she was taking the lead from world class researchers at McKinsey and Company, who found that standards of teaching makes the biggest difference to a chid’s education.

She said: “The effect of good quality teaching is profound. I am absolutely committed to ensuring our teaching is of the highest standards, which is why we are investing so much time in professional development.”

Defending her decision to block out her diary with wall-to-wall interviews, Ms Jenkinson-Dix added: “When I’m asked by colleagues on a Friday afternoon why I’ve been in interviews flat out since Monday morning, my answer is clear.”

New members of staff include English teachers Iain Walker, Sean Dooley, Ashley Hugel and Bessie Owen, as well as science tutors Jason Dubas-Fisher and Melanie Ellis.

Meanwhile Yvette Hill and Jonathan Meeson will teach technology whereas Jacqueline Jeffery will teach maths, Heather Carter will teach psychology and Jason Coe will take physical education classes.

Jessica Otto joins as a languages teacher and Siobhan Acred and Emily Ingle are installed as cover teachers.

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