Sandown Bay Academy’s New Leadership Plans Revealed


The Trust that runs Sandown Bay Academy and Ryde Academy has released more details of its leadership plans, withdrawing a reference (made in a statement earlier this week) to Ryde’s current headteacher becoming Executive Principal.

The Academies and Enterprise Trust has told Isle of Wight Radio today (Thursday) that it is  “strengthening the leadership team at Sandown Bay Academy in preparation for the departure of the current Principal, Claire Charlemagne.”

It is currently consulting over the closure of Sandown Bay Academy and its merger with Ryde Academy. The idea is opposed by many staff and families and was criticised as “not in the best interests…of either school” by Ryde Academy’s governors.

Richard Kelly has already joined Sandown Bay Academy and will work as Head of School from 1 September.

AET says Mr Kelly will be supported by two new senior school leaders. Colin Taylor joins Sandown Bay Academy early next month and a second person has yet to be confirmed.

Meanwhile, it says Ryde’s Principal Joy Ballard:

“…will bring the benefit of her local experience and skills… in the interests of the school’s students.”

But the Trust says her main focus will continue to be in Ryde:

“Ms Ballard’s prime focus continues to be on Ryde Academy, and her wholehearted commitment is to drive the continued improvement being seen there, and to deliver an excellent education to the school’s students.  

“…Together they form a strong team to lead and support the school through a difficult period of change, and with Joy Ballard’s help and advice, they will manage any transition programme that results from Ministers’ decisions on the various options for Sandown Bay Academy which are currently the subject of consultation.”

Joy Ballard said:

“We’ve offered our full support to our sister school Sandown, and will do whatever we can to help the new leadership team to achieve the best outcomes for Sandown students through these turbulent times whilst a decision is made about the future of the school.  

“Two years ago Ryde experienced great turbulence and Sandown staff were generous in their support of our school.  We are proud of our own improvement journey and know the staff at Sandown are equally capable of getting through these tough times.  The time has passed to do nothing.”