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  • Luke Johnston

BrightTribe Trust to leave Whitehaven Academy.

The trust that runs the troubled Whitehaven Academy have today announced their plans to leave the academy after it was plunged into special measures last year. 

The announcement has came ahead of a public meeting tonight at Whitehaven Golf Club which will discuss the state of the buildings, working conditions and poor exam results. The meeting will be held at 7PM. 

Last week MP Trudy Harrison was escorted of the school site after asking to view the academies state. 

“In its announcement today, Bright Tribe said it had "hoped to develop a hub of schools in Cumbria", however, as it has been unable to grow beyond one school in the county, alternative options for the school's sponsorship should be explored. 

It has agreed with the Department for Education and Regional Schools Commissioner that they will pursue other options. 

A Bright Tribe spokesperson said: "The process which must be followed to achieve this may take some time and due regard must be given to the sensitivities around managing this action appropriately. "We believe alternative sponsorship is the most appropriate route for the school’s continued improvement journey." Copeland MP Trudy Harrison said: "I welcome the news today that Bright Tribe will no longer have control of Whitehaven Academy. "I thank the Department for Education and Regional School's Commissioner for bringing this to a close." 

“Our students, staff, families and wider community have all played a part in resolving this and I am grateful to Whitehaven Town Council for organising tonight's meeting and giving the community an opportunity to voice their concerns and be part of the solution." "Now we must move forwards together. Students and staff know their school best, they must be empowered to take control, to influence the future educational model at Whitehaven. Tomorrow is the start of the next chapter and I'll be there, every step of the way to ensure progress is made. "With [headteacher] Warren Turner and the immensely dedicated staff, we can look forwards." Bright Tribe said since it took over in 2014 it has recruited a new senior leadership team, and said the issues with the school’s buildings were the result of "historical under-investment." The statement added that Bright Tribe had lobbied at the highest level for additional funding to improve the school site but without success.

The trust asked for a “period of calm” and added: “It is essential that the school is able to remain focused on educating the children it serves and driving forward progress around educational improvements at pace. “This will also allow time for Bright Tribe to continue to work with the DfE to determine the best solution for the school’s future success.”

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