A STRUGGLING school will completely change its identity to continue a rebuilding process which was started 18 months ago after it was placed in special measures.
For about 30 years The Wye Valley School has served the community, but in just six weeks time it will be renamed Bourne End Academy and will become part of an Academy Trust alongside Wycombe High School in September.
The radical move is the latest in a long line of changes at the school in New Road, Bourne End, which has also seen almost 30 members of staff leave since January 2013.
Headteacher Andrea Jacobson has said she hopes the fresh start will allow Bourne End Academy to become the school of first choice within the community.
The former Wycombe High assistant Headteacher said: “Our aim in the short term is to become a good school, but with the correct structure in place we are looking forward to one day being an outstanding school.
“As a school in special measures we have been visited termly by Ofsted and when they last came in March they said we were making reasonable progress to exit special measures which is a huge step forward in the right direction.
“They could see there was a good teaching core but they needed it to be stable for it to be consistently good teaching, so thankfully we are fully staffed for September.
“We have been able to retain some of our excellent staff and have made some sound appointments for September.
“There were 22 that had left at Christmas and another half a dozen since so it is nearing 30.
“But, while we had some temporary staff in January, we have had some permanent staff join this year which means they will have already settled by the time we switch in September.”
Mrs Jacobson added: “We want to remain many of the qualities this school has. It has always been well supported and we hope this school will always be a part of the community.”
Subject to final agreement by the Secretary of State, from Monday, September 1, the school will be run by a four person trust, which will include Wycombe High Headteacher Sharon Cromie as chief executive of the trust.
As well as a change to the school’s name and signage, there will also be a new uniform and logo.
The changes were decided after parents, students and staff were given the option to vote for an overhaul, earlier this year.
As revealed by the Bucks Free Press in April, the majority voted for the school to be renamed and they decided on a burgundy and silver uniform change.
As part of the change into Academy status the school will no longer be deemed as being in special measures and will receive an Ofsted inspection within the first four terms of operating.
The new Trust Board, which will be chaired by former GlaxoSmithKline Vice President Steve Jordan, will operate for both schools and will be responsible for their strategic financial and personnel matters, while both schools will still have their own sets of governors.
Sharon Cromie said: “Unfortunately, Wye Valley was placed in Special Measures in January 2013 and subsequently it is required by the Department of Education to become a sponsored academy and the Department for Education felt a local solution was the best option.
“Because of this, Wycombe High School was approached and asked to fulfil that role which we were delighted to consider, so we have been working with the Wye Valley School since September 2013.
“We have been trying to convert to an academy since then but it has taken quite some time. I am delighted to say subject to the approval of the Secretary of State the Wye Valley School will become the Bourne End Academy in September.”