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St Christopher's School saved as new provider steps forward

The future of the school on Westbury Park has been uncertain in recent months. Credit: ITV West Country

The future of Bristol’s St Christopher’s School looks far brighter following discussions regarding a rescue package from a new independent provider, The Aurora Group, which plans to take on the specialist education and care of the school and adult services.

St Christopher’s School, on Westbury Park, provides care, education, 24-hour nursing, an on-site medical centre and a variety of therapies for some of the most vulnerable children and young adults.

The group's proposal will guarantee the future of St Christopher’s which has been in doubt in recent months.

The company is led by Stephen Bradshaw, a former head teacher with nearly 40 years’ experience working within the Specialist Education sector and running schools in the Somerset area.

We are delighted that St Christopher’s will be one of the first schools within our group. We appreciate that with the threat of closure this has been an uncertain time for parents and families and for the children and young people themselves, so we are pleased to be able to make this announcement today.

St Christopher’s has received overwhelming support from the local community, we want to build upon this and we look forward to taking the school to its next phase.

– Stephen Bradshaw, The Aurora Group


Teachers' strike in South Gloucestershire called off at last minute

Tomorrow's planned strike by teachers at John Cabot Academy in South Gloucestershire has been called off.

John Cabot Academy Credit: ITV West Country

The academy in Kingswood was due to close tomorrow, but last-ditch talks between unions and management have agreed a way forward in managing workloads and performance assessments.

After lengthy negotiations, we have reached sufficient agreement with the management of John Cabot Academy to suspend strike action. We have accepted assurances that they have given on reducing workload and the pressures of performance management which we accept in good faith in the hope that positive working relationships can be restored at the John Cabot Academy.

– Wendy Exton. National Executive Member of NASUWT. Nigel Varley. Secretary NUT

Teachers to strike at top academy: ITV West Country want to hear from you

Parents of 1,000 secondary school pupils at John Cabot Academy in Kingswood, South Gloucestershire, have been warned to expect a teachers' strike on Tuesday (12 January) in a dispute over workloads and performance assessments.

ITV West Country would like to hear from anyone affected.

  • Will you have to give up a day's work to look after your children?
  • How much money will that cost you?
  • How much disruption will it cause you and your family?
  • How much do you know about the issues?

Maybe you sympathise with the teachers and understand why they're walking out of the classroom.

Whatever your views, we'd love you to get in touch.

Please send your views with your name and phone number to:

Top academy calls second meeting with teachers to discuss 'major disagreements'

The school was given an Outstanding by Ofsted in 2009, and has more than 1000 pupils. Credit: ITV West Country

A second meeting will be held this evening (6 January) to discuss 'unresolved points' between school bosses and teachers at a top secondary school in South Gloucestershire - who are set to go on strike next week over heavy workloads.

More than 70 staff members at John Cabot Academy intend to walk out next Tuesday (12 January). If talks fail, a two-day strike will follow.

Union members say the move comes after discussions with the school's leadership broke down just before Christmas.

The NUT tell ITV West Country 'some progress has been made, but there are still major disagreements'.

The unions have given six dates in January on which strikes will take place. Credit: ITV West Country

The Cabot Learning Federation (CLF), which sponsors the John Cabot Academy say talks will continue this evening in an effort to resolve disputes.

The leadership team at JCA have been continuing to work very hard to find a way to avert strike action at the Academy next week. Union representatives accepted an invitation to meet with the Academy and ACAS on Tuesday 5 January.

The unions accepted that the leadership team had moved in all areas of concern they had initially raised seven working days ago and during this, only the second meeting, agreed to fully sign off 12 of the now 15 areas of concern raised. After four hours of meeting it was further agreed that the parties would re-convene at the end of the day today, Wednesday 6 January, to further consider the proposed solutions for the remaining three unresolved points. The Academy leadership team remains committed to open dialogue with unions and also directly with staff in order to seek to a resolution in the short term and also to ensure positive relations going forward.

– Steve Taylor, CEO Cabot Learning Federation
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