Head drafted in to help crisis hit Leyland school

Headteacher Kathy McNicolas outside the school
Headteacher Kathy McNicolas outside the school
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AN experienced headteacher with a strong track record has been drafted in to help pull a troubled school out of special measures.

Ofsted has blasted Leyland St Mary’s High School after judging the leadership and management, quality of teaching, and achievement of pupils as ‘inadequate’.

Phil Mooney

Phil Mooney

Phil Mooney, headteacher at ‘good’ Cardinal Allen Catholic High School in Fleetwood for the past decade, is joining the school for the rest of this academic year.

His job as executive head will be to oversee the progress made from the action plan put together by the leadership team, in response to the damning Ofsted rating.

Mr Mooney will work with headteacher Kathy McNicholas, who will remain responsible for the day-to-day running of the school.

He said: “I’m honoured and pleased to be able to support Leyland St Mary’s at this key stage in their progress and my first priority will be to get to know the staff and pupils as quickly as possible.

“I’m very aware that the past 18 months have been a difficult time for pupils, parents and staff, but I feel confident that there are much better times ahead and that 2015 will be a year of action and significant improvement.

“I’ll be working closely with the governors, the archdiocese and Lancashire County Council, and I know I can rely on their support throughout this process.”

In June last year, teachers went on strike over complaints about the leadership and management.

Ofsted inspectors found that staff unrest contributed to the “significant decline in the school’s effectiveness”, and that there is a “culture of mistrust and fear” between senior leaders and staff.