New head aims for sky

Simon Robinson, new headteacher at Cotmanhay Junior School.
Simon Robinson, new headteacher at Cotmanhay Junior School.
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A new headteacher is hoping to reverse the fortunes of a once-struggling Ilkeston junior school.

Just two years ago, Cotmanhay Junior School was given a notice to improve by Ofsted inspectors.

Since then the school has made great strides and last year returned its best exam results in seven years.

Now new head Simon Robinson – who was once given accreditation placing him in the top five per cent of teachers in the country – hopes to build on that success and make the Beauvale Drive school ‘outstanding’.

The 41-year-old father-of-two said: “We have got the good results behind us – whenever the inspectors come back, we are ready.

“The aim is to become a good school very quickly. We need to up the grades for literacy and numeracy.

“The long term aim is to have children leave the school as independent learners who want to do well for the area.”

The Advertiser revealed before the summer that its poor performance in previous years had seen the school earmarked by the Government to be taken out of local control and become an academy.

Governors and staff spoke out against the plan but Mr Robinson said it would make no difference to the quality of teaching at the school.

“It doesn’t matter – if we are an academy, the vision is the same, the staff are the same,” he said.

“We are going to be a good school very quickly.”

He said the school ‘had not been told’ whether the plans to make it an academty were still going ahead.

The former Nottinghamshire county champion swimmer added that he has arranged Nottingham Forest players to work with pupils on a weekly basis in a bid to ‘inspire’ them through sport.