THE Sir Robert Woodard Academy, in West Sussex — one of four sponsored by the Woodard Corporation, which also runs the largest group of Anglican independent schools — was placed in special measures after poor examination results and a critical inspection report last year, it has emerged.
But Jan Richardson, who chairs the Woodard Academies Trust, said that standards had improved rapidly since Colette Singleton took over leadership of the academy when it moved into new buildings in January. “Parents trust the steps we have taken, and we are all confident that this year’s results will exceed the government benchmark,” Mrs Richardson said this week.
When it opened in 2009, Sir Robert Woodard Academy replaced Boundstone College, a local authority school. It was one of the first two academies to be sponsored by the Corporation. Both are situated in areas of high unemployment on the Sussex coast. It has developed strong links with the independent Lancing College, the first Woodard school opened in the 19th century.
The Woodard Corporation includes 22 independent schools, and a further seven are associates. Over the past two decades, about 20 C of E maintained schools have been affiliated to the organisation.
There are plans to sponsor more academies, the Warden of Woodard, Canon Brendan Clover, said. “It has to be remembered that building a successful school community takes time.”