Category Archives: Local Issues Page

Wednesfield Academy -Parents Letter From Matrix About Change.

Councillor Phil Bateman said today. “Having been approached by residents connected to the School Wednesfield High, now called Wednesfield Academy.

I wrote to the school asking to be up dated on the changes now taking place following the change of Trust operating the school.
The City Council has no direct control over the school.

But like everyone else in our community. It is nice to know what is taking place. The School has provided me with this correspondence which outlines the way the management is wanting to drive the school forward. Please read. I have also had a brief conversation with the Schools leadership. Parents are encouraged to contact the school if there are any issues they see affecting their children.”,

Our ref: LD/Wednesfield Welcome
11 January 2023
Dear Parents/Carers
We would like to take the opportunity to officially welcome you to the Matrix family. First of all,
thank you for all the positive feedback we have already received. Many pupils and parents have
already told us that they feel Wednesfield Academy is moving more rapidly in the right direction.
This letter outlines the reasons behind these changes and gives advance notice of exciting
developments for the academy. Ideally, we would have liked to have been able to communicate
directly with you before the Christmas break. However, we were not permitted to send anything
out until Wednesfield Academy officially transferred over from the previous trust.
Mrs Carpenter was able to communicate to you in her letter before Christmas that the
Department for Education chose Matrix because of their proven track record for improving
schools and securing the very best outcomes for thousands of children. There was also a
consultation letter sent last May from the Regional Schools Commissioner. You can read more
about the trust’s history and watch a short video where pupils from the different schools talk
about the impact the trust has had, the video highlights the focus the trust has, which is all about
improving the education of children.
Although Wednesfield Academy has been improving in a number of ways, moving from an Ofsted
rating of Inadequate in 2017 to Requires Improvement in 2018, and has made massive
improvements under Mrs Carpenter’s leadership, the overall Ofsted grading remains Requires
Improvement following the recent inspection. Examination outcomes for Year 11 and Year 13 are
improving but they need to be better so that Wednesfield Academy’s young people have as many
doors opened for them as possible. Further significant strides will not happen without making
some important changes to how the academy operates.
The full Ofsted report will be released on the Ofsted website on 17 January 2023. However, we
are able to share it with you ahead of the publication date and we have attached it to this letter.
As you will read from the report, Ofsted were very positive about many aspects of
Wednesfield Academy. However, Ofsted noted that not all pupils “show the self-regulation and
maturity expected when moving around school”. Ofsted also noted that “There is considerable
variation in how well the curriculum is taught”. This is something Wednesfield Academy leaders
were already very aware of. Although the teaching has improved in many ways, the academy
recognises that learning is sometimes being held back by some pupils’ behaviour.
Having a calm and orderly school is a prerequisite for learning to proceed without disruption.
Ofsted noted to leaders that behaviour was especially affected by breaks and lunchtimes. This is
why the academy has made some important changes to the ways break and lunch operate.
Breaktime is now longer than it was previously, and the academy has split it so that different key
stages have it at different times. This allows pupils more time to eat, drink and socialise with
their friends. For the first two weeks, while the academy was adjusting to this new system, the
academy allowed pupils access to an outside space if they chose: the Rocket Quad. Now that the
new breaks are established, the academy will be allowing pupils – from Monday, 16 January 2023
– to also go outside to the bottom Quad. Of course, if pupils want to remain indoors, they can do
During breaks and lunchtimes, pupils are free to go to the toilet as long as they have asked a
member of staff. This ensures that toilets do not become overloaded with people and staff know
where children are at all times, which is essential for safeguarding.
Wednesfield Academy is a popular academy. With their pupil numbers having increased, it has
become necessary to streamline how lunchtime operates so that all pupils have enough time to
eat. This will be alleviated in September by the academy being able to introduce a third lunch
sitting. However, the academy cannot currently do this due to timetable constraints. To keep
queues manageable, the academy is directing pupils to sit in specific areas, based on whether
they bring their own lunch, purchase sandwiches or hot meals. This is a tried and tested
approach in Matrix’s larger schools. Pupils stay indoors during lunch so that they can be
supervised, essential for safeguarding. This is something which happens in every trust school.
Another thing Wednesfield Academy has adopted from other trust schools is using a non-verbal
signal to indicate to pupils that they need to cease their conversations and listen to staff
instructions. This reduces the need for staff to raise their voices, making school a much more
calm and settled place for everyone. The signal is typically used at the end of lunchtime to ensure
a safe exit from the lunch venue.
It is essential that the students exit the Dining Room calmly to ensure that learning that is taking
place is not disturbed. When KS3 pupils are either on their break or lunch, KS4 pupils and KS5
students are in lessons and vice versa.
As a trust, Matrix has very high expectations for uniform. We would like to thank everyone who
has taken on board the reminders about uniform standards which Mrs Carpenter put in her letter
at the end of last term. Because the previous trust will not permit us to keep the existing blazers
which feature their branding, we are going to be replacing all pupil blazers. We will be supplying
these completely FREE of charge as soon as we have procured them.
In addition to supplying everyone with a blazer, the academy will also be supplying, without
charge, a new school tie. The tie will be in one of four coloured stripes. The colours correspond to
the academy houses. While the academy does have a house system of a kind currently, this will
be very different going forward. Each house will have a Head of House, a pastoral leader who
really gets to know the pupils in their house well. The Head of House will be supported by a house
team, dedicated to the welfare of your child. The House office will be the first point of contact for
The academy trousers and skirts will also be changing colour to black, which is the same for all of
our schools. Pupils may continue wearing grey trousers or skirts until you need to replace them.
However, if you are purchasing new trousers or skirts, please buy them in black and not grey. This
uniform will be much more cost effective than the previous uniform.
With the cost of living in mind, PE kit from September will also be changing to a plain black t-shirt,
shorts and sports socks. These will be unbranded items so you will be able to source them from
any sports shop or supermarket. If you need to buy new PE kit before September, please buy
items in plain black.
To support you in making sure your child has the correct uniform, the academy website will be
updated with images of what is appropriate. This will include plenty of images of what types of
footwear are acceptable. We are aware that shoe companies do not make life easy here,
marketing some trainers as ‘school shoes’. The images we put on the academy website will
hopefully make it easier for you to turn down your child’s request to buy them expensive Nike
trainers, or other branded footwear!
The academy has recognised that attendance and punctuality needed to improve. However,
thanks to some important changes made this term, improvements are already starting to
happen. Anyone who is late to school serves a break time detention in the Dining Room. Pupils
face away from their peers to help them resist the temptation to communicate, which would
result in further sanctions. The number of breaktime detentions is already significantly reducing
because children are now more motivated to arrive to school on time. As we are sure you will
agree, punctuality is important for the workplace so we are setting pupils up for success later in
life. Thank you to everyone who has echoed these messages with their children.
There are so many benefits of being part of a trust with lots of other secondary schools. One of
these is being able to offer an RAF Cadet Force. Mrs Carpenter will be sending out more
information about this very soon but, in short, it will be a fantastic opportunity for pupils which
includes them being able to go on outdoor expeditions, take part in competitions, take trips
aboard and fly real aeroplanes.
There will also be a special Trust Awards evening early in the summer term where the
achievements of Wednesfield pupils will be recognised alongside those of other Matrix pupils.
Thank you for your support and I look forward to working with Wednesfield Academy to ensure
pupils achieve their full potential.
Yours sincerely
Ms L Draycott
Chief Executive Officer – Matrix Academy Trust

Street Racing Injunction – Now in Place!

The temporary injunction banning ‘street racing’, also known as ‘car cruising’, is now in force across the Black Country.

The interim injunction prohibits people from participating, as a driver, a rider or a passenger, in a gathering of two or more people at which some of those present engage in motor racing or motor stunts or other dangerous or obstructive driving.

The interim injunction is in place throughout the boroughs of Wolverhampton, Dudley, Sandwell and Walsall and anyone breaching it will be in contempt of court and could face penalties including imprisonment, a fine or an order to have their assets seized.

The application was led by the City of Wolverhampton Council on behalf of Dudley Council, Sandwell Council and Walsall Council, and supported by West Midlands Police. See our Street Racing Injunction webpage for more details.

Incidents of street racing should be reported by email to or by calling West Midlands Police on 101. In an emergency, always dial 999.

Telephonica – A base station in Linthouse Lane for improved telecomms?

There is a Pre – Planning Application that your Councillors have had sight of. It relates to a proposal for a mobile phone base Station. It is a pre planning consultation for a mobile Phone and Base station installations. It is correspondence from Cornerstone Planning Consultants.

It states that Cornerstone are in the process of identifying a suitable site in Wednesfield North that will improve services for Telefonica.

They go onto say ” the purpose of this letter is to consult and seek views on their proposal.

Their proposal is to upgrade 4G and 5G provision. The proposed installation of a 20m monopole comprising 6no of antennas,and 2no 300mm dishes together with 2 no ground based cabinets and ancillary developments. All installations are designed to be fully compliant with the public exposure guidelines established by the International Commission on Non-Ionising Radiation Protection.

Before your Councillors respond and seek more information. We are keen to read what your immediate thoughts are? Please let us know.

Will You Join With Me in A Compost Day?

Councillor Phil Bateman MBE said I was recently informed that “that there are more living organisms in a tablespoon of soil than people on Earth? Soil is a world made up of organisms, minerals, and organic components that provides food for humans and animals through plant growth.”

It makes you look at soil in a completely different way, when you are informed about its importance to life here on Earth. Soil degradation induces some soils to be nutrient depleted losing their capacity to support crops, while others have such a high nutrient concentration that represent a toxic environment to plants and animals, pollutes the environment and cause climate change.

World Soil Day 2022 is coming (#WorldSoilDay) and its campaign “Soils: Where food begins” aims to raise awareness of the importance of maintaining healthy ecosystems and human well-being by addressing the growing challenges in soil management, increasing soil awareness and encouraging societies to improve soil health.

Now I want to help in getting this issue across, and so I am asking you to tell me if you run a compost site for your garden or your business. I have a tiny garden, yet I have three different compost heaps that I keep to help enrich my soil here in my own garden. All the kitchen green waste gets placed in the compost bins. All the old flower heads and the grass cuttings. This time of the year it is the leaves that are filling my compost.

What I would like Wednesfield to do is to tell me if you compost your garden waste and your kitchen waste. I would like to compile a rough number of homes that do this here in Wednesfield. We can then contact the United Nations on World Soil Day on the 5th December and tell them that here in our Village not only do we do much for the environment with our Wednesfield in Bloom volunteers. But we are also doing our bit to keep the soil in tip top condition. and continue to create a “ world made up of organisms, minerals, and organic components, that provides food for humans and animals through plant growth.”  

Tell me and show me photos of the compost bins or the gardens or allotments that benefit from your efforts at composting!

Remembrance Day in Wednesfield, and the City of Wolverhampton.

This year’s Remembrance Sunday in Wolverhampton sees the return of a full military parade through the city centre to commemorate the fallen for the first time since 2019.

There is also a March from Wednesfields own Woodend Royal British Legion down to St Thomas’s Church and return. This will start at leaving the Club, Councillor Phil Bateman MBE said ” The RBL and the organisers of the Remembrance Day March in Wednesfield, love to see the crowds! Give the procession a wave! and a big smile.

If you are travelling to the Wolverhampton City centre events – Please line the route in time for the parade starting at 10.30am; there will also be space around the perimeter of St Peter’s Square to see the service.

More than 200 veterans, serving forces personnel, cadets and other uniformed services are due to take part in the parade, which steps off at 10.30am from Wulfruna Street into Princes Square, then Lichfield Street, Queen Square and into Exchange Street, across Cheapside and on to St Peter’s Square for the annual Observance of Remembrance. They will be led by the Royal Air Force Cosford Pipe Band.

Avian Flu- Confirmed in City Wild Birds!

“Avian flu update, cases confirmed in our city, and that will mean Wednesfield as well!” said Councillor Phil Bateman . He went onto say, ” Please take note of this information. Advice is that
Cases of avian flu have now been confirmed in the wild bird population in the city by the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA).”

The City Council is working with the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), APHA and the RSPCA to manage the situation and protect public health and the risk to other birds, wildlife and pets after the disease was found in geese in West Park.

Official communications have been issued by UKHSA, along with advice from the council warning residents not to touch or pick up sick or dead wild birds. Residents are advised to contact the park rangers’ team on 07766 473150 to report dead birds found in our parks


Councillor Phil Bateman (Labour Wednesfield North) said today. “This afternoon I received this information from the SSDC. It is an important message and it is important that if you have an interest in the South Staffordshire Green Belt in Essington you read this.”


We are writing to you because you have made comments previously or asked to be kept updated about the Local Plan, and we are now beginning the final stage of public consultation before the plan is submitted to the Secretary of State.

The Publication Plan contains the final sites for housing and employment, pitches for Gypsies and Travellers, and new and updated policies which will be used to decide planning applications when it is adopted. Sites have been chosen taking on board responses to consultations over the past 4 years and drawing on a great deal of information and evidence from planning specialists, stakeholders, statutory bodies, agents, residents, and community groups.

Some sites have changed since the Preferred Options and these changes are as a result of new evidence and taking on board the comments we received from residents, statutory authorities and other organisations. This means we have chosen the sites based on robust planning evidence and to meet current national planning policy and our legal Duty to Cooperate with neighbouring authorities.

This stage of consultation is different to previous stages because it is about the legal soundness of the plan. Has the council prepared the plan positively? Is it justified and effective? Does it comply with national planning policy? Any comments you make should relate to these issues and they will be sent to the independent Planning Inspector who will be appointed to conduct a formal Examination into the plan, which will include public hearing sessions.

Our consultation runs for 6 weeks from Friday 11 November until 12 noon Friday 23 December 2022. To help you we have produced a FAQ Sheet and a Guidance Note to help explain the process for this consultation.

Comments must be made in writing and the simplest way to do this is by using our consultation system. You can make comments on a specific policy or area of the plan, and they will be uploaded straight into the system. If you have made comments previously, you can log in as we will already hold your details.

The Publication Plan and supporting evidence are available to view online at and there will be hard copies of the plan to view at the Community Hub in Codsall, your local parish council office and libraries in South Staffordshire.

All comments made will be submitted with the Plan to the Secretary of State who will appoint an independent Planning Inspector to hold a Public Examination into the Local Plan review. Dates for the Examination will be set by the Planning Inspectorate (PINS). The Inspector will decide whether or not the plan can be adopted or if any changes need to be made. If you make comments to this consultation, you will be notified of the Examination timetable.

If you wish to speak to someone from the Local Plans Team about the consultation, there are many ways you can do this. We have some in-person public consultation events planned (by appointment only), online Q&A sessions, virtual appointments or you can telephone on 01902 696423 to speak to us direct. See the information below about how to take part in the events.

We hope you will take the time to be involved and respond to our consultation, but if you have any queries, please contact a member of the Strategic Planning Team.

Sessions are planned for each Locality, however you can attend any session, whether you live in South Staffordshire or elsewhere.

Online Q&A Sessions: 6pm – 8pm
To join a meeting please use link below

Locality 5 – Wednesday, 23 November 2022
Locality 4 – Wednesday, 30 November 2022
Locality 3 – Thursday, 1 December 2022
Locality 2 – Tuesday, 6 December 2022
Locality 1 – Wednesday, 14 December 2022

In Person Locality Sessions: 10.30am – 7.00pm
by appointment only call 01902 696423 to make an appointment

Penkridge, Haling Dene Centre – Monday 14 November 2022
Coven Memorial Hall – Wednesday 16 November 2022
Essington Community Centre – Thursday 24 November 2022
Codsall Community Hub – Monday 28 November 2022
Wombourne Civic Centre – Wednesday 7 December 2022

Virtual Appointments (Microsoft Teams): by arrangement call 01902 696423
Telephone: 01902 696423 between 9am and 5pm Monday – Friday

Comments can also be sent to or by post to South Staffordshire Council, Community Hub, Wolverhampton Road, Codsall, South Staffordshire WV8 1PX.

Strategic Planning Team
South Staffordshire Council

Tel: 01902 696423

Linthouse Lane – 61st Worst Highway for Personal Injury Collisions in the City

I want residents to know that the issues with regards to Road Safety on Linthouse Lane is still very much an issue for your Councillors. We recognise the concerns you have about road safety. Following the latest road traffic incident a number of days ago. I wrote again to the City Council and their road safety team of highway engineers. I am now publishing their response in full, to our request for further and better Road Safety measures. Here is the Local Authority response. It relates to speeding vehicles on Linthouse Lane, and the Traffic and Road Safety team have provided the following response:

“In response to your enquiry regarding Road Safety on Linthouse Lane, I can provide the following information and response.

Specifically in relation to the recent incident to which you refer, I have not received any contact or information from West Midlands Police regarding the road traffic incident shown in your photograph. However, depending on the severity of injuries to those involved, I will either be contacted directly by WMP or it will appear on the West Midlands Personal Injury Collision Database in due course. Consequently, at this stage we do not know the circumstances or causations that led to the incident.

Each year my team undertaken an analysis of Personal Injury Collisions (PIC’s) across the network in order to identify those locations and routes with the highest risks to target our limited resources. We look at both specific locations such as junctions and whole routes (individual roads). To compare routes equitably, we calculate the number of PICs per kilometre of road in the preceding three year period. We then rank the roads in order to identify which routes to investigate in more detail before finalising our Programme of interventions.

I have checked our analysis which was undertaken in January 2022 and can report that Linthouse Lane was ranked 61st with a figure of 6.0 PIC’s/km of road. This was slightly higher than it’s 2021 ranking of 72nd but still quite some way off being justifiable for including in our Capital Programme list of schemes. We will of course include Linthouse Lane in our analysis for the coming year and include it in our scheme list if justifiable based on the above objective criteria.

On a more positive note, whilst City of Wolverhampton Council is not responsible for enforcement of speed limits (that responsibility lies with West Midlands Police) we do have an annual programme of installation of Variable Message Speed Warning signs (VAS) that flash up to advise drivers to slow down, if exceeding a threshold above the speed limit. I am aware that we have installed our mobile battery VAS signs on Linthouse Lane in the past however we have identified Linthouse Lane as a road that would benefit from having permanent mains powered signs installed. I am pleased to be able to inform you that Linthouse Lane is one of the roads selected for the next tranche of signs and so my team member, will be organising the arrangements for installation works for two of VAS signs as soon as practically possible.

I will also ask one of my team to visit Linthouse Lane in the coming weeks to check that all signs and road markings are present and in an acceptable condition.

I am aware that road safety is an emotive subject but hope that you will appreciate that we must prioritise our limited resources appropriately using statistical evidence to benchmark all routes across the City.”

Councillor Phil Bateman said “I have published the response in full. Because getting the road safety investment to improve our highways has never been easy. But the lack of resources for the whole City in this policy area, is very much a determinant of how the available funds are used. We have not given up hope. We will continue to make the case. Plus we will also be pressing the Police to do more in suppressing speed, and to do their utmost to patrol Linthouse Lane.

Gov Economic Crisis – Savage Cuts on the Horizon.

The economic crisis that we as a nation are facing since the Tories crashed the economy is getting worse by the day. As their disastrous 12 year reign turned into an imploding catastrophe.
Lets not forget Prime Minster Truss forcing a run on the £, Pension Funds close to collapse, Mortgages exploding upwards forcing increased costs on already overstretched household budgets.
Now everyone has a ‘Cost of Living Crisis’ and a fear of using energy. With a £50 billion black hole still gaping in the nations budget, and yet another financial budget looming within days.
All this feeds into everyday life in our City and in our region.
Expect some shocks Wednesfield and Wolverhampton. Bus services are already wobbling with lack of drivers, National Express have already told me that”You may be aware that there is currently a national shortage of bus drivers at the moment. We are around 7% down on the numbers of drivers we usually need to be able to fulfil our services”.
Statistics are showing that around 80% of passengers have returned to buses and are travelling now by public transport. Prior to what was the situation before the Covid- Pandemic.
Less people , shopping ,with less money in their purse, bus services failing to arrive at scheduled times. trains suffering the same acute staff crisis, tram, train and bus staff, concerned that their wages are not keeping up with inflation.
Bus service cuts are on the horizon, in Wolverhampton and across the West Midlands, school bus services will not escape, and the broader network services cuts will also happen.
When the next budget gets announced by the Tories, financial institutions are expecting further cuts to Local Government support for Council services, That will kick off another round of financial concerns.
I want to keep residents in Wednesfield and Wolverhampton informed of the situation. Yesterday I took part in a briefing from Transport for West Midlands. TfWM were setting the scene for their round of talks with the private bus operators. Most at risk are it appears at the moment, here in our City of being axed is School Bus Services. But there will be also routes-small but vital bus routes, that link suburbs with key shopping districts and employment opportunity, and institutions like doctors, and hospitals. Bus routes with no big flows of passengers. like the 50 bus service – It will routes like these which will be certainly under the microscope. With bus schedules also on the agenda to be trimmed.
I will aim to keep readers in touch with these issues, as the information unfolds.