The three remaining Telford secondary schools taken off the TCMAT trust last year when all four of their schools were judged to be failing by OFSTED have all struggled to fill places.
- Telford Langley School (formerly the Phoenix Academy) in Dawley has 180 places for new starters in September but only 105 places have been applied for.
- Telford Park School (formerly Lakeside Academy and before that, the Lord Silkin School) in Stirchley has 120 places for new starters in September but only 77 places have been applied for.
- Telford Priory School (a result of the merger of the former Wrockwardine Wood Arts Academy and Sutherland Co-operative Academy) in Wrockwardine Wood has 240 places for new starters in September but only 226 have been applied for.
Telford & Wrekin Council had two directors on the board of the TCMAT trust at the time the schools were ruled inadequate by OFSTED but both of them resigned when the going got tough. The Department for Education described the council’s involvement with the schools as “unusual”, as did the Education Funding Agency.
In our local manifesto last year we said that we would aim to be the first local authority in the country to take all schools out of LEA control. We believe that the best people to run schools are headteachers, not council officers or councillors. The British government obviously believes that same thing because today they’ve announced that all English schools will be forced to become academies and move out of LEA control.