Colne heads vow to move academy forward

Launch of the Central Pendle Academy in Colne.'Photo Ben Parsons
Launch of the Central Pendle Academy in Colne.'Photo Ben Parsons
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Heads at a Pendle academy have responded to criticisms over redundancies and restructuring.

Fears were raised this week after it was revealed that Colne Primet Academy faces a budget loss of £128,000 in its next academic year.

While four members of staff could be made redundant – one teacher, one support manager and two support members of staff – headteacher Lynne Blomley and Executive Principal Anita Ghidotti remain positive over the school’s future.

The Dent Street academy, previously known as Colne Primet High School and Central Pendle Academy, is supported by Nelson and Colne College.

Miss Ghidotti, who has worked in further education for 11 years, said: “With the college’s support we are confident that any child that comes here will get the best education that they need and deserve. Things have to change so that we can move forward.

“We have got an issue with the budget that we have to address. But there is a staff appetite for change, and although the restructuring does affect them they can see where we are going and what is important. This is a terrible situation for whoever faces redundancy and we need to support them through it - they are our priority at the moment.”

Miss Ghidotti and Mrs Blomley went on to say that parents, staff and pupils have been kept informed throughout, and went on to discuss some of the improvements that are being made.

These include:

l Restructuring the middle management in a bid to put 50 hours back into the classroom and less time spent on leadership administration. This includes keeping heads of core subjects, including English and maths, but creating leaders in broader areas, such as humanities and languages, instead of having heads in individual subjects.

l Putting teaching and learning at the heart of the school, with a focus on individual learning. By doing this it is hoped the school will attract more new starters in 2015. The intake for September currently stands at 49 students, but is subject to change.

Miss Ghidotti added: “If numbers fall below a certain level, then obviously you are in trouble. What we need to do is get to a point where our numbers are rising, so that we get the cash that goes with that.”

And Mrs Blomley, who has worked at the academy since 2000, said: “The management structure has been realigned to make it as effective as possible for the benefit of students.

“What we are doing has been tried and tested as

being effective.”