Rothwell school branded 'inadequate' to move trust from Pathfinder Schools to United Learning

The secondary school had been found to be ‘inadequate’ by Ofsted inspectors
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The trust that stepped in to manage Rothwell’s Montsaye Academy after its shocking ‘inadequate’ inspection judgement will take over the running of the school permanently.

Currently part of the Pathfinder Schools group, academy staff in Greening Road were being supported by a team from United Learning to raise standards.

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Inspectors found pupils at Montsaye Academy were being failed in all areas with the quality of education inadequate and pupils significantly ‘underachieved’.

Montsaye Academy in Rothwell/National WorldMontsaye Academy in Rothwell/National World
Montsaye Academy in Rothwell/National World

Parents and carers have been told the school is ‘much-changed’ after United Learning’s intervention, bringing ‘additional support’ to make the improvements needed ‘at pace’.

Emma Sims, chief executive officer at Pathfinder Schools, said: “United Learning has considerable experience in secondary education and oversees a number of successful schools.

"I have every confidence that the positive changes that we have together put in place over recent months will continue, and that United Learning shares our ambitions to make Montsaye a great school.”

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Concerns over safeguarding, quality of lessons, behaviour of pupils, attendance and governance of the academy were highlighted, as were bullying, sexualised language and racism.

After the damning Ofsted inspection, Pathfinder Schools ‘invited’ United Learning – a trust that already runs 89 academies nationwide – to provide additional support and ‘capacity’ to Montsaye.

Northamptonshire academies already part of United Learning include Kettering Buccleuch Academy and Grange Primary Academy,

The school says with help it ‘become the great school that students and the community deserve’, adding that the ‘successful’ partnership ‘has helped achieve positive improvement across a number of fronts and, as a result, Montsaye is already a much-changed school’.

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In a letter from Ms Sims to parents and carers she assured parents the change was positive.

She said: “As you know, we've been working closely with United Learning since the autumn term to bring additional support to the Montsaye team as we make the improvements needed at pace to help the school become the great school that your children deserve.

“Montsaye is, as a result, a much-changed school already from the one that Ofsted visited last term

“Looking ahead, it is important that this trajectory of improvement continues, and we feel that United Learning is well positioned to support Montsaye more formally and for the long-term.

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"To this end, we proposed to the Department for Education that Montsaye joins United Learning.

"I am delighted to inform you that on February 21, 2024, the Department for Education agreed to this proposal. Consequently, Montsaye Academy will be formally joining United Learning later this year.”

She added: “Whilst sorry to see the academy leave Pathfinder Schools, we believe that this is the right decision for the school, its students and is staff. Our two trusts will work closely together to ensure a seamless transition over the next few months.

“We are certain that this is the right decision for Montsaye Academy's future and look forward to watching it become the school that its community deserves. Further information regarding a detailed timeframe of transition will be sent to you in due course.”

The formal transfer will take place later this year.

For the full Ofsted report on Montsaye Academy go to

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