Headteacher retires ahead of school’s merger

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A HEADTEACHER has retired after a year of mixed fortunes. Phillip King left the Darfield Foulstone School of Creative Arts last term after nine years as headteacher. He was 60.

Despite being placed in special measures by Ofsted inspectors last year, Foulstone also celebrated an unprecedented 30 per cent rise in pupils gaining top GCSE grades in the summer.

Chairman of Governors, Mr Bert Beaumont said: “Mr King made Foulstone an inclusive school where students enjoyed their education, attended well, and were encouraged to contribute meaningfully to the life of the school and community.

“His caring approach meant the school had a low exclusion rate. Many students with problems were re-integrated into a beneficial school life.

“The school’s 16-plus examination performance improved to reach record levels in 2010, to put the school above the national average on most indicators.

“The school gained recognition for its high standards in the creative arts by achieving specialist status in 2009 but was unfortunate to be the first Barnsley secondary school to be tested under Ofsted’s harsher inspection regime, which brought the challenge of special measures in 2010.

“This challenge was faced by Mr King, his management team and staff, to gain satisfactory progress in the latest Ofsted visit in the autumn term.

“On behalf of the governing body, I place on record our appreciation of Mr King’s service and convey to him our best wishes for the future.”

The head’s successor has not yet been announced.

*Work has begun on a new adult learning centre that will combine both the Darfield Foulstone and Wombwell High schools.