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Holly Hall Academy principal quits after Ofsted inspection

By Pete Madeley | Dudley | Education | Published:

The headteacher of a Dudley secondary school has quit his post in advance of the release of an Ofsted inspection report.

Rob Hatch has quit as principal of Holly Hall Academy in Dudley

Rob Hatch stood down as principal of Holly Hall Academy on Tuesday.

The school says he decided to leave after inspectors from the education watchdog had visited the school shortly before Christmas.

His interim replacement has been named as Andy Landers, a founding member of the The Dudley Academies Trust (DAT) and Hillcrest School's vice principal for the last eight years.

Jo Higgins, CEO of the trust, said: "Following the recent Ofsted inspection, Rob Hatch decided to leave the academy.

"The Dudley Academy Trust Board fully recognises Mr Hatch’s contribution to the leadership of the school and wishes him every success for the future."

Holly Hall Academy received a rating of 'requires improvement' in its last full inspection in May 2015.

Mr Hatch became principal in September 2015, at a time when Ofsted said the school was facing 'significant financial challenges' and long-standing issues with staffing and leadership.

He oversaw a widespread restructure of both areas.

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Inspectors made a further visit to the 723-pupil school on Scotts Green Close in April 2016.

They noted that initially the rate of improvement had been 'too slow' and that senior leaders and governors were not taking effective action to tackle problem areas.

But following Mr Hatch's appointment there had been an acceleration in the rate of improvement, including in the quality of teaching, inspectors said.

The school subsequently put in place a strategic plan to raise performance levels across the board. It has been under the wing of the Dudley College-run DAT since September last year.

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Ms Higgins added: "I am very pleased to confirm that the Ofsted team validated all of the strategic plans for the school that the trust is implementing at pace.

"Holly Hall Academy is at a very exciting stage in its journey and we are all committed to ensuring the highest of standards in all areas of school life."

The school has confirmed it is the process of recruiting members for a new advisory board, which will have two places for parents.

The inspection report is due to be published imminently.

Pete Madeley

By Pete Madeley
@P_Madeley_Star

Political Editor for the Express & Star. Responsible for local and national political stories, opinion, comment and analysis.

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