Category Archives: Schools and Young People

CTC and Grace Academy both flooded out


Thunderstorms have caused flash flooding across the Birmingham and West Midlands area. Grace Academy in Chelmsley Wood has been closed for the day because of a serious roof leak. The CTC in Kingshurst has closed this morning because of serious flooding. It will remain closed tomorrow. Smiths Wood School also closed for the afternoon because of flooding.
The A38 Aston Expressway was closed at lunchtime because of flooding. The Met Office says that rain will clear later this afternoon. Friday’s weather will be more settled.

Castle Vale School: changes on the way


Charlotte Blencowe, the new headteacher of Castle Vale School, told a public meeting tonight that an outstanding education is “a right, and not a privilege.” She spoke briefly to the audience of around 40 people in the school hall: parents, teaching staff and members of community organisations.
AET (Academies Enterprise Trust) regional director David Kershaw fielded most of the questions about the school’s future.
“Teachers will undergo three days of intensive training,” he said. “Within a matter of weeks, there will be absolute clarity about what is expected.”
“Every youngster will achieve. Every youngster has to behave,” he told the audience.
There will be a focus on teaching standards and pupil behaviour, but they do not envisage an increase in pupil suspensions or expulsions. They will promote ‘discipline with dignity.’ They expect significant improvements in GCSE results in future years. Senior teaching staff will be appointed to the English and maths departments for September.
AET hope to be running the school by September, when Miss Blencowe officially takes up her position as headteacher, though they may have to wait until October or November for final approval from government.
Despite the major changes to the school’s governance, Charlotte Blencowe advised that changes will not be instant or dramatic. “System change is like filo pastry,” she said. “It has to happen layer by layer, slowly.”

Castle Vale School: academy public meeting tonight


AET (Academies Enterprise Trust) will be consulting with the public tonight about their proposals to run Castle Vale School as an academy. The meeting starts at 6pm, in the school hall.

Castle Vale School: a lesson in hip-hop, rock and fun


high fives all round from Clement

Yet another success for Castle Vale School’s Performing Arts Department – they are getting quite a reputation for hosting live concerts for ambitious artistes from across the UK. This time, pupils from Years 8, 9 and 10 were treated to a 40-minute live concert by Clement Marfo and the Front Line, an up and coming hip-hop/rock band from South London.
This is the fourth live concert staged at the school this year, and once again, the band enjoyed it as much as the pupils. “We’ve loved it here, really loved it,” lead singer Clement told the audience.
The school’s Performing Arts team have a knack of getting in live acts with plenty of appeal, and finding the right balance between keeping a sense of order amongst hundreds of pupils in school uniform, whilst still allowing the youngsters to enjoy the concert and have some fun.
Pictures: click here

Callum crossing: work starts Monday


Work starts on a new pedestrian crossing in Farnborough Road on Monday 25th June. It will be adjacent to the swimming pool and Chivenor School, near the spot where ten year-old cyclist Callum Henry was killed by a motorist last September. The work is expected to take five weeks.

Castle Vale Nursery: outstanding again


Ofsted Inspectors have given Castle Vale Nursery a grade 1, outstanding, for the second time in three years. It is still the only education institution in Castle Vale to be awarded a Grade 1.
Inspectors gave the nursery just two days notice before coming in to observe the children and staff at work.
“This is an outstanding nursery which gives children an excellent start to their education,” says the report, published today.
“It is outstanding because it enables children to become effective, independent learners with a strong spirit of curiosity and an excellent ability to learn through investigation.
“Children achieve exceptionally well in all areas of learning. From starting points that are well below those expected for their age the large majority of children reach their age-related expectations in all areas of learning, with a small minority exceeding them.”
The school is currently being led by acting head Deborah Jones, following the retirement of Lesley Wiltshire last term. A new head starts in September.

Castle Vale School: Charlotte Blencowe named as new headteacher


Charlotte Blencowe

The new headteacher of Castle Vale School is to be Charlotte Blencowe. She is a former Conservative Party candidate for Rotherham Council in Yorkshire. She tried to launch a free school in Rotherham in 2010, but despite initial approval from Education Secretary Michael Gove, it failed to get off the ground. She had enlisted her partner’s father, Barry Elliot, better known as one of the Chuckle Brothers, to be its patron. She had hoped to become its principal, but an inquiry revealed that the controversial plans lacked any firm basis.
More recently, she has been Acting Principal of Academy 360, a school in Sunderland. Ofsted Inspectors had previously given Academy 360 a ‘notice to improve’ last April, but following a visit last December, they commented on the progress that the school had made under the new leadership. “Poor behaviour is more swiftly dealt with because new management procedures are more consistently applied,” said the Ofsted Inspector.
AET (Academies Enterprise Trust) have indicated that her appointment at Castle Vale School is permanent. It is not yet clear how many governors were consulted in the appointment process.
Charlotte Blencowe is due to meet Castle Vale School’s staff next week.

Charlotte Blencowe with Barry Chuckle