The schools have been sponsored by Brian Scowcroft, chairman of the Richard Rose Federation, since they opened as academies in September 2008.
United Learning is a group of independent schools and academies across England. It is a strong academy sponsor: on average, United Learning academies have improved their GCSE performance by more than 30 percentage points (five A*-C including English and maths) since opening as academies. United Learning independent schools include current Sunday Times independent secondary school of the year Guildford High School. The United Learning Alliance led by Guildford High School has just achieved Teaching School status.
A new executive principal, Derek Davies, will be leading the two academies.
Jon Coles, Group Chief Executive of United Learning, said:
“We are very pleased to welcome the Richard Rose Academies into United Learning. We believe that they have great potential to be excellent schools for the young people of Carlisle and we are committed to supporting them to achieve this as quickly as possible. In our discussions with Brian Scowcroft and the DfE, we have all been clear that this is our shared objective.
“Our aim as a sponsor has always been to work with the schools facing the greatest challenges and enable them to succeed. So, while there is a great deal to be done here, we believe that we have the experience, resources and partnerships in place to bring about permanent improvement in the two academies.”
Brian Scowcroft said:
“I decided to sponsor the Richard Rose Academies because I want the young people of Carlisle to have outstanding educational opportunities.
“Last year, I came to the conclusion that the schools needed more educational support if they are to achieve this goal. So, I have been having detailed discussions with the Department for Education and United Learning about how best to get this support. I am very pleased to be able to announce today that as a result of those discussions, United Learning have agreed to take on responsibility for the two schools.
“This will provide the two academies with a positive and secure future.”
Schools Minister Lord Nash said:
“The Richard Rose Academies have struggled for a number of years. United Learning will provide the strong leadership and external challenge the schools require to turn them round. Brian Scowcroft has for many years been dedicated to improving the education and opportunities available to the young people of Carlisle and I would like to thank him for his efforts and on-going commitment.”