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Robert Owen Free school

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The £3 million pound renovation of the £1 million pound land and building at Blackfriars that the council handed over is continuing - it should look good but to spend this much money on so few children (20 to 30 at the moment) - is questionable.

As mentioned on previous threads, the Principal (headteacher) resigned in January after one term in charge and an interim from Manchester was put in charge.  They advertised for a new Principal and now have announced who has been selected.

It is a Mr Andrew Hubble.

Coincidentally, a Mr Andrew Hubble resigned as principal of an academy in West Walsall earlier this year after it was found by ofsted to be inadequate in nearly all respects including leadership and management.  I wonder if this is the same Mr Andrew Hubble.  And, if so, what the kids at the school have done to deserve someone with that track record. 

Still,  the nearby Barrs Court School appointed a principal with a very dodgy reputation and track record and has had to suspend her so it seems that some schools for vulnerable kids who can't fit into mainstream education can provide a dumping ground for failed leaders.  I say `some' because I know that other special schools and Pupil Referral units have excellent leaders and they and their staff do a great job that should continue. 

Normally the HT would trumpet any development at the ROVS - they have been strangely quiet on the new appointment.

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On 25/06/2014 at 16:27, gdj said:

The £3 million pound renovation of the £1 million pound land and building at Blackfriars that the council handed over is continuing - it should look good but to spend this much money on so few children (20 to 30 at the moment) - is questionable.

As mentioned on previous threads, the Principal (headteacher) resigned in January after one term in charge and an interim from Manchester was put in charge.  They advertised for a new Principal and now have announced who has been selected.

It is a Mr Andrew Hubble.

Coincidentally, a Mr Andrew Hubble resigned as principal of an academy in West Walsall earlier this year after it was found by ofsted to be inadequate in nearly all respects including leadership and management.  I wonder if this is the same Mr Andrew Hubble.  And, if so, what the kids at the school have done to deserve someone with that track record. 

 

Ofsted Report here:

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I find it very strange that The Priory PRU in Leominster has closed, to merge with the St Davids PRU in Hereford, yet absolutely no mention of this has been made in The Hereford Times.

 

I would have thought a restructuring of this significance would be worthy of a mention in the local press.

 

But no.

 

As you say Gdj, the amount of money being lavished on Blackfriars is eyewatering. Yet two PRU'S being condensed onto one, already limited, site, is deemed a great money saving idea.

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I know not a lot about the present Education system but the information in the comments must be / should be of concern to Cllrs who have responsible for education , Parents of children who will be attending this school should be wondering if they have/ are making the right choice .

it also appears to be a worthwhile story for our local paper to follow .

 

Education must form the backbone of our Society - they are , after all , the next generation - so it must be the best we can get.

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The Hereford Times is currently preoccupied covering the Hereford United saga ... Funeral March to Brockington tomorrow ~ with coffin ... Unfortunate timing as the March happens a full week before it can put it in the printed paper!  :tongue_32:

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Thanks for changing the link Megilleland!

 

Hmmm.....if this is the same Andrew Hubble, he'll certainly notice a difference. Going from 865 pupils to under 30!

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In The Guardian today:
 
 
Quote
extract
 
The DfE said it would be burdensome to release all past free school applications. Ok, how about releasing all future ones as they are submitted?
 
Having never mentioned it for the first year of negotiations, the DfE argued that it would take 11 civil servants three months to redact all the personal information in the forms before publication. This, they said, would cost £171,875. They also argued that if I had been willing to reduce my request, the outcome might have been different.
 
I pointed out that I had reduced my request during the ICO's deliberations and if they had told me before the appeal I might well have done so again – but they had forgotten to mention it until the hearing. Also, while £171,875 sounds a lot, in the context of the £1.1bn free schools budget, it's small fry. Actually, 0.015%, to be exact.  
 
The DfE said most of the billion pounds is spent on school buildings so my calculation was unfair.
 
Where does this money come from? The tax payer of course and they still do not want to tell you where and how it is being spent.

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I see Michael Gove has just lost his Secretary For Education post!

Good news, but I fear the damage has been done and is irreversible for a lot of children.  An obsession with `free schools' and `academies' has fragmented the whole system.   Decisions and policy are based on what he reckons rather than any evidence.  And as a former News International journalist he has been given a very easy ride by the press.  Happy to be interviewed by Andrew Marr (a fellow ex journalist) but not by many others.

 

According to Private Eye he is in line to be the editor of the Daily Mail.

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We have a teacher friend up in Yorkshire - she danced for joy ,and it wasn't because her school had broken up for the summer. She also hopes that the damage done can be repaired .

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Hereford Times: Monday 4th August 2014 in News By Adam Knight
 
Quote
 
STUDENTS at Herefords only free school will start the year at new, state-of-the-art city-centre premises on September 1.
 
The Robert Owen Vocational School which offers a unique curriculum combining  academic and vocational study will ring the bell at its Widemarsh Street facilities next month.
 
The former Hereford School for Boys has been expanded and improved to accommodate an increasing number of students looking to follow the schools Vocational Baccalaureate.
 
This means longer days, weeks and years for youngsters but includes timetabled Robert Owen Weeks of extra-curricular activities aimed at building communication skills, confidence and self-awareness.
 
It is the only school in the country to offer the WJEC-certified Vocational Baccalaureate.
 
The qualification was developed by the school, alongside employers to better cater for the skills required in the working world skills like communication, teamwork and analysis.
 
Chair of governors, Chris Morgan, said: This exciting programme builds on the schools aim to help students become people who not only understand things put can apply them in practice.
 
Herefords newest secondary school, the Rober t Owen School will start the new year with 110 students set to enrol, almost four times the number that of last September.
 
Its first intake will this year sit their GCSEs and next year progress to post-16 qualifications and apprenticeships including a newly-created level three for the baccalaureate.
 
The school still aims to ensure students attain a minimum of five GCSEs but also study a range of vocational subjects.
 
At the same time, they spend one day week on a work placement throughout the year building technical skills and also researching what career they may want to go into.
 
As part of that, students closed their first year by taking part in two Robert Owen Weeks, where Rural Media, Real Impact Music and Oldfield Forge Academy were among those leading sessions.

 

A figure of £3,000,000 to set this up has been mooted and so far only 30 students. The government told the council to "donate" the buildings in Blackfriars Street from their surplus assets. Maybe these surplus assets could have been sold to the best bidder to reduce the budget deficit which Cllr Tony Johnson keeps telling us we need to grasp. Are there going to be any ongoing costs for the Council when it opens.

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And still no mention of the third Head Teacher to be appointed in just a matter of months.......

 

How very strange.

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Does anyone know how the school is getting on in Blackfriars?  The websites have been shut down and the Facebook page not used since September.  A school that was hungry for publicity has gone off the radar seemingly.  I would have thought that the HT would have reported them moving in and been printing P.R. stuff, but, again, silence. 

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Welcome Vicar!

 

Good to see you posting! I believe the numbers last year were around the mid 20's.

 

I haven't heard any updates about the school, GDJ, but if I do I will post and let you know.

 

By the way, have you heard that staff are paid via Worcestershire rather than Herefordshire?? I'm not sure of the ins and outs, but wondered if any other poster could shed some light.

 

. Would this be because The Robert Owen Group are a Worcester set up?

 

Sooooo.........a Worcester based group decide that Herefordshire would benefit from a Free School, then Herefordshire hand over a valuable building, it's attended by Herefordshire pupils, which takes money from Herefordshire schools.......yet staff are paid via Worcester.............what am I missing here, or have I got this completely wrong??

 

As I say, I am not sure how this works, so please feel free anybody to chip in!

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Hi dippy and can I add my welcome to "vicar"?

 

I think when Herefordshire and Worcestershire split, payroll for some or all schools/colleges still used Worcs. They ( Robert Owen) may have got a better deal for the admin from Worcs rather than from Hoople .

 

Incredible that anyone can do it better than Hoople , I know.

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I wonder whether even the Hereford Times will be able to ignore this story about their favourite institution.

 

http://www.theguardian.com/education/2015/jul/01/ofsted-inspectors-rate-two-free-schools-inadequate#comment-54870856

 

The comments are interesting about the Robert Owen academy too.  49 pupils and 22 employed adults - and still it is failing.

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49?  With city of temporary buildings that have been added to the landscape of Blackfriars, that must make it very nearly one child per classroom...

It was almost worth turfing out the council staff from there when you look at it that way.

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Sadly they didn't just turf out Council staff but also quite a few children with special needs attending Herefordshire and Ludlow College who used to do cooking classes and other activities in the building. But children with special needs are not exactly priority for Herefordshire Council and who needs to cook with all the new restaurants in the OLM? 

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Well.

 

It certainly appears that this very news worthy story, is being kept very much under wraps. Not so much under the radar, more like not even on it.

 

Very strange.... or is it??

 

Perhaps this is the norm, when you've spent a lot on advertising with a paper???

 

I don't know......

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I attended that School in the 70's when it was the High School For Boys .... It had loads more pupils than 49. Plus it had it's own gym. The woodworking and biology were not in the Main building but it worked. How can you spend £3M and downsize the pupil numbers by that crazy amount !? 

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49 pupils in  a place that large - not to mention that massive new building - what a waste of money and land

That massive ugly building

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