Pupils being let down says chief

New Principal at Voyager Academy   Steve Munday EMN-140313-083713001

New Principal at Voyager Academy Steve Munday EMN-140313-083713001

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Pupils at Voyager Academy are not getting the education they deserve, according to the man responsible for Peterborough’s schools.

Jonathan Lewis said bureaucracy is slowing down progress at the £26 million academy which opened in 2007 and has been in special measures since February 2014.

Since then the school ,which has 1,316 pupils, has been subjected to four monitoring inspections by Ofsted, the latest of which last month said progress has not been sufficient to improve the academy’s ‘inadequate’ rating.

Inspectors said there is “a lack of urgency in securing improvements.”

Mr Lewis, Peterborough City Council’s service director for education, was questioned by councillors on Monday.

Asked by Cllr John Shearman if bureaucracy was holding the academy back, he said: “That has a lot to do with it. If it was in our direct control we would have made some bigger moves.

“There are children going through that school that are not getting the education they deserve. I’ve offered help and my teams have been in there to help them.”

Mr Lewis said the academy was not his responsibility, but the children who go to it are.

Almost half of the 17 expulsions at Peterborough schools in the 2014/15 academic year were at the academy.

A new principal with experience at struggling schools, Scott Hudson, will take over at the Voyager in September.

Stephen Munday, the academy’s executive principal, said Mr Hudson’s appointment, and significant staffing changes, meant the academy is well placed to improve.

He added: “The Voyager Academy is working exceptionally hard to bring about positive change within the school and provide an excellent education for all our students.

“Early in the academic year we made difficult decisions to permanently exclude a number of pupils as we sought to significantly improve levels of behaviour. The recent Ofsted monitoring visit demonstrated that behaviour has clearly improved, and continues to improve.

“We continue to work openly with the local authority, and all relevant parties, to achieve the best outcomes for our students.”