The Wye Valley School in Bourne End is to be renamed

(From left) Wycombe High Headteacher Sharon Cromie and Wye Valley Headteacher Andrea Jacobson

(From left) Wycombe High Headteacher Sharon Cromie and Wye Valley Headteacher Andrea Jacobson

First published in News
Last updated
Bucks Free Press: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

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.”

Comments (7)

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6:32am Mon 21 Jul 14

Nick1958 says...

'Required' to become a sponsored academy?
Change the name and you're out of special measures.....
Does this all sound strange to anyone else?
'Required' to become a sponsored academy? Change the name and you're out of special measures..... Does this all sound strange to anyone else? Nick1958
  • Score: 6

9:14am Mon 21 Jul 14

Marlow Mum says...

Ahhh... the miracle turnaround eh? Forgive me for sounding a little cynical, but where have all these new 'sound appointments' come from? Most decent teaching staff I know wouldn't touch the place with a bargepole.
As for the comment re retaining some of the school's excellent staff? Utterly risible. Most of them left long, long ago, and there are more set to go this summer. It's very much been a case of throwing the baby out with the bath water...
Ahhh... the miracle turnaround eh? Forgive me for sounding a little cynical, but where have all these new 'sound appointments' come from? Most decent teaching staff I know wouldn't touch the place with a bargepole. As for the comment re retaining some of the school's excellent staff? Utterly risible. Most of them left long, long ago, and there are more set to go this summer. It's very much been a case of throwing the baby out with the bath water... Marlow Mum
  • Score: 6

9:57am Mon 21 Jul 14

mistamina says...

Nick1958 wrote:
'Required' to become a sponsored academy?
Change the name and you're out of special measures.....
Does this all sound strange to anyone else?
Sad.
[quote][p][bold]Nick1958[/bold] wrote: 'Required' to become a sponsored academy? Change the name and you're out of special measures..... Does this all sound strange to anyone else?[/p][/quote]Sad. mistamina
  • Score: 4

11:30am Mon 21 Jul 14

DriverDad25 says...

Please, PLEASE can everyone who posts think about the children who are still at the school. No matter how cross or upset or let down you feel, what good do any negative comments do for those kids who have had their schooling disrupted?
There are lot of new people at the school who are trying very hard to do their best for the children who are there now. Please let the school be judged by their results in the summer.
How would you feel if you had a child at the school, were doing your best to support the children to have confidence in their new keen teachers, only to see very negative things being said?
Please, again, do not post negative things here. Thank you.
Please, PLEASE can everyone who posts think about the children who are still at the school. No matter how cross or upset or let down you feel, what good do any negative comments do for those kids who have had their schooling disrupted? There are lot of new people at the school who are trying very hard to do their best for the children who are there now. Please let the school be judged by their results in the summer. How would you feel if you had a child at the school, were doing your best to support the children to have confidence in their new keen teachers, only to see very negative things being said? Please, again, do not post negative things here. Thank you. DriverDad25
  • Score: 5

3:14pm Mon 21 Jul 14

mistamina says...

DriverDad25 wrote:
Please, PLEASE can everyone who posts think about the children who are still at the school. No matter how cross or upset or let down you feel, what good do any negative comments do for those kids who have had their schooling disrupted?
There are lot of new people at the school who are trying very hard to do their best for the children who are there now. Please let the school be judged by their results in the summer.
How would you feel if you had a child at the school, were doing your best to support the children to have confidence in their new keen teachers, only to see very negative things being said?
Please, again, do not post negative things here. Thank you.
DriverDad, you may have misunderstood. These bloggers are howling in protest, precisely the for the children in Bucks.
There are systematic and institutionalised failures here. e.g. 'Required' to become a sponsored academy? '. Come on!
Schools have become play things, places to experiment, with our Bucks Children. And these are not the only children suffering. there are several (if not many) schools STILL in Measures after over a year.
[quote][p][bold]DriverDad25[/bold] wrote: Please, PLEASE can everyone who posts think about the children who are still at the school. No matter how cross or upset or let down you feel, what good do any negative comments do for those kids who have had their schooling disrupted? There are lot of new people at the school who are trying very hard to do their best for the children who are there now. Please let the school be judged by their results in the summer. How would you feel if you had a child at the school, were doing your best to support the children to have confidence in their new keen teachers, only to see very negative things being said? Please, again, do not post negative things here. Thank you.[/p][/quote]DriverDad, you may have misunderstood. These bloggers are howling in protest, precisely the for the children in Bucks. There are systematic and institutionalised failures here. e.g. 'Required' to become a sponsored academy? '. Come on! Schools have become play things, places to experiment, with our Bucks Children. And these are not the only children suffering. there are several (if not many) schools STILL in Measures after over a year. mistamina
  • Score: 5

6:32pm Mon 21 Jul 14

Nick1958 says...

mistamina wrote:
DriverDad25 wrote:
Please, PLEASE can everyone who posts think about the children who are still at the school. No matter how cross or upset or let down you feel, what good do any negative comments do for those kids who have had their schooling disrupted?
There are lot of new people at the school who are trying very hard to do their best for the children who are there now. Please let the school be judged by their results in the summer.
How would you feel if you had a child at the school, were doing your best to support the children to have confidence in their new keen teachers, only to see very negative things being said?
Please, again, do not post negative things here. Thank you.
DriverDad, you may have misunderstood. These bloggers are howling in protest, precisely the for the children in Bucks.
There are systematic and institutionalised failures here. e.g. 'Required' to become a sponsored academy? '. Come on!
Schools have become play things, places to experiment, with our Bucks Children. And these are not the only children suffering. there are several (if not many) schools STILL in Measures after over a year.
- and this school - despite the name and status change - is STILL, effectively, in Special Measures and MIGHT not be inspected for another 4 terms.
[quote][p][bold]mistamina[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]DriverDad25[/bold] wrote: Please, PLEASE can everyone who posts think about the children who are still at the school. No matter how cross or upset or let down you feel, what good do any negative comments do for those kids who have had their schooling disrupted? There are lot of new people at the school who are trying very hard to do their best for the children who are there now. Please let the school be judged by their results in the summer. How would you feel if you had a child at the school, were doing your best to support the children to have confidence in their new keen teachers, only to see very negative things being said? Please, again, do not post negative things here. Thank you.[/p][/quote]DriverDad, you may have misunderstood. These bloggers are howling in protest, precisely the for the children in Bucks. There are systematic and institutionalised failures here. e.g. 'Required' to become a sponsored academy? '. Come on! Schools have become play things, places to experiment, with our Bucks Children. And these are not the only children suffering. there are several (if not many) schools STILL in Measures after over a year.[/p][/quote]- and this school - despite the name and status change - is STILL, effectively, in Special Measures and MIGHT not be inspected for another 4 terms. Nick1958
  • Score: 1

4:18am Thu 24 Jul 14

Dad of 6 says...

Don't be fooled by the false smiles of these two women. Mrs Jacobson is Ms Cromie's puppet - and in stark reality neither of them have a clue what's going on at Wye Valley.
This school was 'REQUIRED' to become a sponsored Academy - as previously mentioned by someone else that it effectively removes rage 'special measures' tag, but - in reality what else has changed? Nothing.
I have children at this school and it goes down as one of the worst parenting decisions I have ever made to send my children to this school. I have no confidence that this school will improve it's quality of teaching as another group have left this week - and that's including the majority of the English and Maths Department, even some of the newer staff have either been given their marching orders by Mrs Jacobson or they've made a quick exit after realising this is not a pleasant school to work at! Teaching staff described by Mrs Jacobson as 'high calibre' have left already. In fact one of my children asked me if the school was going to close because he said that there wasn't going to be anyone to teach him after the summer.
What a sorry state of affairs this school is in....
Mrs Jacobson - if you really think your school is going to be the number one choice in Bucks then you are as deluded Michael Gove was - and look where it got him!
Don't be fooled by the false smiles of these two women. Mrs Jacobson is Ms Cromie's puppet - and in stark reality neither of them have a clue what's going on at Wye Valley. This school was 'REQUIRED' to become a sponsored Academy - as previously mentioned by someone else that it effectively removes rage 'special measures' tag, but - in reality what else has changed? Nothing. I have children at this school and it goes down as one of the worst parenting decisions I have ever made to send my children to this school. I have no confidence that this school will improve it's quality of teaching as another group have left this week - and that's including the majority of the English and Maths Department, even some of the newer staff have either been given their marching orders by Mrs Jacobson or they've made a quick exit after realising this is not a pleasant school to work at! Teaching staff described by Mrs Jacobson as 'high calibre' have left already. In fact one of my children asked me if the school was going to close because he said that there wasn't going to be anyone to teach him after the summer. What a sorry state of affairs this school is in.... Mrs Jacobson - if you really think your school is going to be the number one choice in Bucks then you are as deluded Michael Gove was - and look where it got him! Dad of 6
  • Score: 4

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