New principal outlines future for TLA

Acting principal of The Littlehampton Academy Marianne Gentilli. 'Photo provided by Liquid PR. SUS-140503-085711001
Acting principal of The Littlehampton Academy Marianne Gentilli. 'Photo provided by Liquid PR. SUS-140503-085711001

THE new acting principal of The Littlehampton Academy has spoken about the steps the school is taking to improve following Ofsted’s report last week.

Last week, the academy was officially placed in special measures and judged ‘inadequate’ in three out of four areas.

Marianne Gentilli replaced former principal Steve Jewell after he resigned with effect from December 31.

Speaking to the Gazette, Ms Gentilli said the school has formed a voluntary development group to address the four areas of the Ofsted report.

Ms Gentilli said: “This has had a fantastic response from staff – about 147 have been working after school to share ideas and to discuss strategies for improvement. These have now formed part of the Academy Improvement Plan.”

As well as replacing Mr Jewell, the Woodard Academies Trust (WAT) has also introduced an academy improvement board in place of its previous advisory body.

A community reference group has also been established and WAT said it had an extensive list of parents willing to be involved in a parent reference group.

Ofsted’s report also said the school needed to adequately stretch able students.

Ms Gentilli said: “This is one of the key areas in our improvement plan. Roles within the senior leadership team have changed to ensure that a senior leader now has specific responsibility for tracking and monitoring the progress of our able, gifted and talented students. In addition, the vice principal with responsibility for data and tracking has been reviewing what data we have on our students and what this tells us about their progress.”

Ofsted is due to visit the school in the next four to six weeks to check what planning for improvement is in place.

Ms Gentilli added: “Our priority will be to highlight all the things we have been doing since the inspection. We will need to show the inspector that the academy now has the capacity to improve and that our plans are in place and fit for purpose. The senior leadership team and principal are really focusing hard on showing the inspector what has changed for the better since the December inspection and how we are all working together to improve outcomes for our young people.”