New head sent into Leeds school after GCSE concern

David Gurney, the new executive head at Bruntcliffe.
David Gurney, the new executive head at Bruntcliffe.
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A NEW executive head teacher has been brought in to “strengthen leadership” at a secondary school which suffered disappointing GCSE results this summer.

Concerns were raised at Bruntcliffe High School, in Morley, following this year’s exam results which were said to have been “below expectations in a range of subjects”.

Bruntcliffe High School Head Heather Scott in her pink office (SR1002/76a)

Bruntcliffe High School Head Heather Scott in her pink office (SR1002/76a)

Now the school is expected to be converted into an academy once a sponsor has been found to take it on.

Leeds City Council has brought in David Gurney, the head at Cockburn High School in Beeston, to work as an executive head teacher.

Bruntcliffe’s head teacher Heather Scott is understood to have been on sick leave for the past nine days. However Paul Brennan, the deputy director of children’s services at Leeds City Council said the authority would have brought an interim head teacher into the school anyway and this decision was not linked to Mrs Scott’s absence.

We have been unable to contact Mrs Scott.

Mr Brennan said the council had been contacted by Mrs Scott who had asked for additional support after the school received its GCSE results in August. Mr Brennan described these results as being below expectations in a range of subjects.

Leeds City Council had then written to the school’s governing body asking them to produce a robust action plan.

In recent weeks there have been public meetings in which parents had voiced concerns about the school.

Mr Gurney has now written a letter to parents at Bruntcliffe introducing himself. He said: “I appreciate that this has been an upsetting and difficult time for everyone personally involved as well as the parents of students in the school and the wider community in Morley. Everyone wants the very best education for their children. My role as executive head teacher will be until a multi academies sponsor is secured and the school is converted to an academy. In the meantime I intend to stabilise the school and work towards addressing the findings of Ofsted.

“This is a challenging task and there is a great deal of hard work ahead, but I am confident that together with my colleagues we will bring the leadership skills and experience to help the school lay the foundations for the kind of success and high achievement that we know is possible. You have my sincere assurance that I am totally committed to raising standards and expectations at the school and I hope that I can count on your support with this.”

Bruntcliffe was rated as inadequate by Ofsted last year shortly after Mrs Scott joined.

However an interim inspection late last year had praised the leadership of the school in delivering improvements. At its most recent inspection last year Bruntcliffe High was moved out of the inadequate category and was found to require improvement.

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