[T]he MP for Copeland has been praised by the Education Secretary for her ‘passionate campaign’ to secure a new school sponsor for Whitehaven Academy.
This week, the Secretary of State for Education, Damian Hinds commended Trudy Harrison MP for her consistent battle to remove controversial academy trust sponsors, Bright Tribe from Whitehaven Academy after years of neglect and mismanagement.
Cumbria Education Trust was last week confirmed by the Secretary of State as the new sponsor of Whitehaven Academy following a resolution that was passed by CET’s Board of Trustees.
Mrs Harrison recently hit back at the Department of Education in a Select Committee meeting which saw members grill the Secretary of State on the conditions at the school, which included pupils working in stifling classrooms due to windows being jammed shut in the middle of a heatwave.
Secretary of State for Education, Damian Hinds, said: “I know Trudy is passionate about education, ensuring that young people across her constituency get the best start in life.
“She has been a strong advocate against the running of Whitehaven Academy by the Bright Tribe Trust. Standing up for concerns of the pupils and parents involved.
“It is thanks to her campaigning that the school is now going to be taken over by the Cumbria Education Trust ensuring a bright future ahead.”
Last year, Mrs Harrison was forcibly removed from the grounds of Whitehaven Academy by Bright Tribe after paying a visit to the school to see damage caused by flooding.
Mrs Harrison, said: “This has been a team effort over many months, and it’s testament to the relentless support and information from parents in particular that we have successfully secured the most comprehensive re-brokerage in the DfE’s history.
“This means that Whitehaven Academy will benefit from short term remedial works over the summer and by the end of 2020, a brand new school. But more than that, it means that the Academy will have a local sponsor, with a track record of transformation who will be easily accessible and accountable.
“A full complement of sixth form subjects will be possible because of a collaboration with Workington Academy and specialist teachers – for me, this package is crucial. “
Mrs Harrison, added: “Head teacher Warren Turner has worked tirelessly in very difficult circumstances, as have all staff, their dedication and commitment has been significant in securing a new sponsor and I’m really looking forward to the future for Whitehaven Academy with Cumbria Education Trust’s management.
“The students will get the school and education they so rightly deserve.”