Head and governors out in BBG Academy reshuffle

A SCHOOL fighting to come out of special measures has appointed a new headteacher and governing body.

Jason Kenneally took over BBG Academy in Birkenshaw on February 22, 16 months after the secondary school was rated inadequate.

In January, all nine governors left and were replaced by a temporary school improvement board.

Among the resignations were chairman Sharon Light and other parents who were instrumental in setting the school up.

BBG Academy was championed by Conservative Party activists before the 2010 general election.

The school’s founding on the site of the old Birkenshaw Middle was backed by Prime Minister David Cameron and then-Education Secretary Michael Gove.

In October, 2014, the school was rated as inadequate and taken over by the Rodillian Multi-Academy Trust.

The school has improved since then and letters to parents said changes at the top are to drive the recovery even faster.

Mr Kenneally pulled the Featherstone Academy out of special measures over the last two years.

Outgoing headteacher Alex Burnham wrote: “BBG Academy is in very safe hands.”

He added: “Due to the success of the Rodillian Multi-Academy Trust and its policies we are being asked to support other schools...

“Consequently I have been asked to take on a wider role within the trust with a focus on school improvement.”

The new governors are chairman Brian Sheldrake, Alan Winn and Jan Bennett.

They form a three-person school improvement board in temporary charge until permanent governors are appointed.

Former chairman of governors Mrs Light is the wife of Kirklees Council Tory group leader Coun Robert Light.

Another governor who stood down was Coun Lisa Holmes (Con, Liversedge and Gomersal).

Kirklees Council cabinet member for education Coun Shabir Pandor (Lab, Batley West) said the authority is working with the new regime.

He added: “The main thing for us is to make sure the children at the school get the best education and outcomes possible.”


Spoof website merger report fools parents

PRANKSTERS on a spoof website claimed the BBG Academy at Birkenshaw was to merge with Whitcliffe Mount School in Cleckheaton at the end of the month.

This was to create a “super school” on the Whitcliffe site after the Easter holidays.

Links to the fake website, said to be a good copy of BBG Academy’s real domain, were spread through social media.

The schools worked to get the spoof account taken down by 8.30am on Tuesday – but not before many parents had reportedly seen it and were fooled into believing it.

Headteachers Jason Kenneally at BBG and Jennifer Templar at Whitcliffe said no such merger is taking place.

In a joint statement they said: “This clone site is an unauthorised copy of the BBG Academy website.

“Both BBG Academy and Whitcliffe Mount School would like to reassure everyone that these assertions are completely false.

“BBG Academy is part of the Rodillian Multi-Academy Trust and Whitcliffe Mount remains a local authority-maintained school.”

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