School celebrates academy status and new principal

NEW STATUS: Beaminster St Mary’s headteacher Teri Goodinson with acting deputy head Ben Barker, left, and executive principal of trust Richard Larter

NEW STATUS: Beaminster St Mary’s headteacher Teri Goodinson with acting deputy head Ben Barker, left, and executive principal of trust Richard Larter

First published in News Dorset Echo: Photograph of the Author by

A WEST Dorset school has gained academy status after a year of uncertainty.

St Mary’s School in Beaminster has also appointed acting headteacher Teri Goodinson as principal as it builds towards a brighter future.

After Ofsted labelled the school ‘inadequate’ it was put into special measures last year with a major programme of improvements.

At the same time the school was in limbo as it waited to see if it would have to become an academy with an external ‘sponsor’ and an executive head.

That decision has been made and this week the school celebrated its new status with an opening ceremony with the community.

Head Mrs Goodinson said: “It is a very exciting time now. A time to look forward.

“Due to the difficulties the school was having we were encouraged to become a sponsored academy and that means we are working under the Diocese of Salisbury with four other schools in a trust.

“Now the school has its continuity and stability ready to make the improvements and move the school on.

“For a long while the actual process of it was stalled and it was that uncertainty that people were uncomfortable with.”

Mrs Goodinson said the new executive principal would very much be a part of the school as an extra layer.

She said: “He is there in a supporting but challenging role also. He will be making sure we are on the right track, helping me with decisions about the curriculum, and how to make improvements. For me it is quite comforting to know that and I don’t feel too isolated.”

Mrs Goodinson said the improvements to be made centre around raising standards.

She said: “We have already improved teaching standards and we are confident we will continue to improve and get the children to where they need to be.”

Mrs Goodinson thanked the parents for their continuing support.

She said: “The parents have been absolutely brilliant.

“They know we are here for the children and they know we will do the best for them. Without their support we couldn’t have come this far and we are very grateful to them.”

Now the school is an academy the school is no longer in special measures and it doesn’t expect to have another Ofsted inspection until the autumn term.

The school will have half termly visits from the academy trust.

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