Interim headteacher steps in at Corby’s oldest school

Acting headteacher at Lodge Park Robert Sloan NNL-181128-113531005
Acting headteacher at Lodge Park Robert Sloan NNL-181128-113531005

A temporary headteacher has taken charge of a Corby school.

Robert Sloan has taken the reins at Lodge Park Academy after executive principal Meena Wood took a leave of absence for personal reasons.

Meena Wood.

Meena Wood.

Rumours had been abound on social media that Mrs Wood had resigned from her post at the Shetland Way School.

But the David Ross Education Trust, which runs the school, says that she is only temporarily absent.

A statement said: “On Monday, we let our school community know that Mrs Wood, Lodge Park Academy’s Principal, is currently off work for personal reasons.

“Mr Sloan, an experienced principal who has been working with our school since September, is acting as interim executive principal.

“Mr Sloan is working closely with the school’s leadership team and its students and is inviting parents into the school to meet with him.”

The new interim head has been with DRET for six years and is said to be familiar with Lodge Park.

He has been principal at Charles Read Academy in Corby Glen which was ranked one of the most improved secondary schools in the country in the 2016 school league tables.

On arriving at Lodge Park in the spring, Meena Wood was charged with turning around Corby’s oldest secondary school after a turbulent few years.

But staff became concerned last week after she had not been seen at the school for some time.

One concerned parent who contacted the Northants Telegraph said: “It’s good to hear that the school say she hasn’t left but what Lodge Park really needs is stability.

“I’m a bit annoyed that the school has not officially confirmed anything and we’ve just found out about all of this on Facebook.”

Mrs Wood is the sixth head at the school in as many years. Earlier this year she publicly pledged to shake things up at the school by banning mobile phones and introducing chickens to the school playing fields.

It follows a difficult decade for the once-proud school. The county council took over the running of the Shetland Way school in 2012 after concerns were raised by Ofsted.

Then the David Ross Education Trust took the helm, but things have remained unsteady - with Ofsted inspectors repeatedly telling the trust that the school required improvement.

Lodge Park history

Lodge Park is the oldest existing secondary school in Corby - it was opened in 1964 a year ahead of Kingswood School.

It was one of the first wave of new specialist schools that were re-branded in 1994 when it became a technology college In its first 45 years in existence, it only had three headteachers: Neville Rumbelow, Richard Parker and Tom Waterworth

It has several notable former pupils including war heroes Craftsman Alex Shaw (REME) who died on the final day of the Falklands War and VC James Ashworth who was killed in Afghanistan. Professional footballer Billy McKay, of Ross County and Northern Ireland, also went to Lodge Park.