'Appalled' MP says he has lost confidence in Greenwood Academies Trust after bad behaviour reported at Houghton Regis Academy

South West Bedfordshire MP Andrew Selous says he has lost confidence in Greenwood Academies Trust’s ability to provide a good education to the children at Houghton Regis Academy.

The MP told press he had reported his concerns about disruption at the school to the Department for Education (DfE).

Houghton Regis Academy, (inset) MP Andrew Selous

Houghton Regis Academy, (inset) MP Andrew Selous

Mr Selous said: “I have spoken to a number of children at Houghton Regis Academy and I am appalled at the bad behaviour in the school and the disruption to lessons which has caused a number of teachers to leave.

"I have had no satisfactory response from Greenwood Academies Trust on what action they are taking to improve matters.

"I have made my dissatisfaction very clear to the DfE and directly to the regional schools commissioner responsible for academy trusts in our area, Dame Kate Dethridge.

"The DfE have told me that they are arranging an emergency meeting tomorrow with the academy and Central Bedfordshire Council officials.

"I understand they will also be getting urgent expert advice about the running of the school and will be fully reviewing the management of Greenwood Academies Trust."

A spokesman for the Greenwood Academies Trust said: “We are committed to upholding the highest safeguarding and behaviour standards and take any concerns on this issue very seriously – nothing is more important to us than pupil safety.

"In the most recent inspection of the academy by Ofsted, Inspectors commented that 'pupils feel safe'.

"We are disappointed to hear that a very small number of pupils expressed concerns to Mr Selous and we will look into the issues they have raised. However, we can confirm that no teacher has cited behaviour issues as a reason for leaving the academy.

“Unfortunately the academy is currently under subscribed due to a proposed housing development not being built. This has led to small pupil numbers and an inability to recruit subject specific staff to deliver a broad and balanced curriculum, and it is with great regret that the possible closure of the school is now being considered.

“We would like to stress that no decision about the closure has been made and we remain dedicated to providing our pupils at the school with the best possible education. We have an open dialogue with the DfE and the regional schools commissioner to ensure this, and look forward to continuing these constructive conversations in the best interests of the pupils.”

But Mr Selous has called for firm action to resolve the school's problems.

He added: "I am asking for the immediate restoration of good order in all lessons, for the trust to offer golden handcuff arrangements to teachers committed to stay until the new school opens and for the senior leadership team of the school to spend the majority of their time in the classroom with the children ensuring that lessons are not being disrupted and are being taught to a high standard.

"I will continue to call for the necessary action to be taken until standards at the school have returned to an acceptable level.”