Page last updated at 16:07 GMT, Monday, 26 January 2009

Pupils return to troubled academy

A teacher's union has called for a public inquiry into the academy

A troubled city academy has opened its doors again after being forced to close for a day because of a pupil protest.

The Richard Rose Central Academy in Carlisle only opened in September, but has been beset by problems.

An Ofsted report on the school is due out soon, after an inspection was triggered by parental complaints.

Carlisle MP Eric Martlew has urged the academy to come up with an urgent action plan to tackle the problems.

Parents last week passed a vote of no confidence in academy bosses after concerns about a lack of teachers and poor exam results.

Parents of about 200 of the academy's 1,600 pupils have called for a change in management.

Last Friday, some waved placards outside the school saying "They won't listen".

It's understood that around 10% of students at the academy were excluded last term.


But chief executive Peter Noble has said he believes children are well taught.

In a statement, he said the school's problems had not appeared overnight and could not be resolved overnight, but that it had "made a good start".

"We are aware of the issues and concerns that are being raised and are working hard to address them," he said.

The academy is one of two run by the Richard Rose Federation. The other is the Richard Rose Morton Academy.

Two local schools were closed to form the Richard Rose Central Academy.

Schools Minister Jim Knight visited it last week and promised to do all he could to turn the situation around.

Chris Keates, general secretary of the teaching union the NASUWT, said teachers at the school had no option but to consider a strike because of the conditions at the school.

The government aims to open have 200 academies up and running by 2010, and 400 in total.

Chris Keates said in this case, some of the school's problems stemmed from the "inappropriate fast-tracking of the merger of two schools to form the academy".

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