Cumbria

Troubled Whitehaven Academy gets new sponsor in 'fresh start'

Whitehaven Academy
Image caption Teachers at Whitehaven Academy have taken strike action over standards and "unsafe" buildings

A failing school which has had six head teachers in four years is to get a new sponsor, it has been announced.

More money will also be given to Whitehaven Academy, which is in special measures, when it is taken over by the Cumbria Education Trust (CET) in September.

Last year, the Bright Tribe Trust pulled out of the running of the school amid parental concerns over standards.

The CET said it wanted to raise pupil "aspirations and standards".

The Department for Education (DfE) said it would also invest a "significant sum" in demolishing and reconstructing the school buildings.

There have been six head teachers at the academy since 2014.

'Relentless focus'

Since being named as the DfE's preferred sponsor in March, the CET has been working with staff to take over control at the school in west Cumbria.

The trust will officially take over in September.

Chief executive Lorrayne Hughes said: "Our first priority will be a relentless focus on school improvement to ensure that every young person can reach their potential.

"We will be looking to raise aspirations so that all students will strive to be the best they can be."

The DfE said it wanted to give the academy a "much-needed fresh start" and planned to have new school buildings completed by 2020.

Trudy Harrison, MP for Copeland, said: "This is a brilliant news day for the academy.

"At last we are finally seeing the bright light in what can only be described as a very dark tunnel."

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