'Superhead' is criticised for management style

Alastair Falk, who is criticised in the report, was appointed as a "superhead" to the West London Academy in Ealing on a salary of £120,000 two years ago.

The academy is sponsored by Professor Alec Reed, the founder and chairman of Reed Executive Recruitment, to the tune of £2m. It is to have £37m of new "shopping mall-style" buildings - designed by the architectNorman Foster - opened in September.

But a monitoring report by HMI inspectors to be published by Ofsted, the education standards watchdog, is to criticise the way the school is managed. One source said: "The message is that the leadership of the school is unsatisfactory."

One move singled out for particular criticism is a decision to allow pupils to stay in their classrooms while teachers move from lesson to lesson. That was designed to stop youngsters crowding the corridors but has led to increased vandalism. It is also said Mr Falk has failed to consult adequately with staff.

The letter from the inspectors represents the second time Tony Blair's academies programme has come under fire this year. In May, the £18m Unity City Academy in Middlesbrough was found to be failing to provide a good education. It is now in special measures as a failing school.

A spokesman for the academy acknowledged there was "some criticism" in the report. However, he added it praised Mr Falk's vision for its future and also had "many positives".

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