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Coombeshead Academy
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SCHOOL CLOSURE DUE TO INDUSTRIAL ACTION

Dear Parent/ Carer,

Further to my previous letter dated 2nd October regarding the possibility of industrial action; I regret that I need to inform you that the school will be closed on Thursday 17th October as a result of strike action by the NASUWT and NUT teaching unions.

Having carefully considered the impact upon the school, the Governing Body has taken the decision to close Coombeshead Academy to students on the 17th October because it is expected that the large majority of teachers will obey their union strike call,  it would not be safe for the school to remain open. The other local secondary schools in the area will also be closed.

It is important to remember that this is not action taken against the school, the leadership or the governors at Coombeshead Academy, but is directly against the government and the Secretary of State for Education and some of the reforms that he is making on the pay, pensions, working conditions and jobs of their members.

I also must inform you at this point that the unions involved have told us that if the Secretary of State does not respond in a positive way to their actions, then they intend to call a national one day strike later in the Autumn Term. Obviously, you will receive further details of this as soon as we have them.

The school is therefore closed on the 17th October with the exception of the following:  
 Students studying at TQ12 in Sixth Form 
 Students studying BTEC Public Services in Sixth Form 
 Sixth Form students who wish to use College House for private study 
 Year 10 students studying mechanics or construction at Bradley Lane site 
 Year 11 students are encouraged to come into school for 2:10pm to study for their Maths Exam the following week.  

Yours faithfully,   


Leon Winston
Chair of Governors 

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Dear Parent/Carer,

Ofsted Report 2013

I am pleased to announce that Ofsted have now released the report from the school’s inspection on July 17th and 18th 2013.  A copy of this is available on the link below and also on the Ofsted website.

http://online.coombeshead.devon.sch.uk/downloads/pdf/ofsted_report_july2013.pdf

Under the new Ofsted arrangements, schools are judged in four areas: Achievement of pupils; Quality of teaching; Behaviour and safety of pupils and Leadership and Management of the school.  The first judgement is based on historical results of the school.  The judgement is further complicated by the fact that changes to education policy by the government also mean that the school is not recognised as having existed prior to August 2011 (when we converted to an Academy) and therefore the increase in student performance which has taken place since 2010 was not taken into consideration.

I am delighted to say that the inspectors agreed with the school’s leadership team on all four judgements: that the quality of teaching, behaviour and safety, leadership and management were ‘good’ but that the achievement of pupils ‘required improvement’. However, the Inspectors stated that “students in the school are making more accelerated progress” as well as that “teaching and students’ achievement are improving rapidly because of the good leadership and management of the Headteacher and other staff with leadership roles”. As a result the school is judged to ‘require improvement’; it is our belief that all schools will always require improvement.

We are pleased with many aspects of the report and satisfied that the Inspectors confirmed our judgements.  In particular, Inspectors recognised that the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of students is “a strength of the school so that students are well prepared to be considerate citizens”.  All staff and parents and students spoke positively about the school, with the only negative response from parents coming from a parent whose child has left the school.   

At the next Parent Focus Group on 2nd October at 6pm I would be happy to discuss the report in more detail. If you are not able to attend that meeting, or would like to make comment beforehand, please email me at the school using either  welcome@coombeshead.devon.sch.uk or headteacher@coombeshead.devon.sch.uk 

I would like to thank you for the support that you continue to show the school. The staff and I continue to improve the educational offer we make to your children so that we provide them with the best chances in life. We look forward to continuing to work with you in helping your son\daughter to fulfill their potential. 

Yours sincerely,


Matthew J Shanks
Executive Headteacher

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