Why would 7 foundation governors and a head teacher get sacked?

(21 Posts)
pickledsiblings Mon 11-Feb-13 12:14:52

The RC primary school in our nearest town had this issue a few years ago before it was on our radar as a potential school for DS. It seems the governors sacked the head teacher (due to complaints as to how the school was run) and then the majority of them were sacked!

When I was doing my research I came across a newspaper article outlining the issue and quoting a governor - “The reasons given were that we had brought the school into disrepute and that we had failed to uphold the Catholic ethos,”.

What might this mean and is it anything I should worry about?

pickledsiblings Mon 11-Feb-13 13:45:02

Has anyone come across this happening before?

ByTheWay1 Mon 11-Feb-13 14:10:33

The governors of a school can be sacked as a whole for refusing to comply with Local Authority demands .... e.g there was a case in 2008 where bullying was not handled well by the school - the governors had so many days to put a plan in place and did not comply, so they were sacked... Another reason would be using their position unethically - a school had trouble with the governors being sucked into a pyramid selling (Ponzi) scheme and were sacked..

pickledsiblings Mon 11-Feb-13 15:05:09

Thanks ByTheWay. We visited the school this morning and I asked the Head directly about it and she side stepped the question by saying 'it's in the past and we don't talk about it anymore'. It's probably not as bad as I'm imagining which is why I asked...

PavlovtheCat Mon 11-Feb-13 15:08:46

If the head refuses to talk about it openly, that would raise a Big Red Flag to me. She should be able to openly talk about what went wrong, and what measures are in place so that whatever happened will not happen again.

By brushing it under the carpet, there is no transparency and so you cannot know whether it is Bad or not. That is your decision to make, not hers.

PavlovtheCat Mon 11-Feb-13 15:10:01

It would also show to me that they deal with 'issues' by ignoring, pretending things have not happened, and therefore I would not feel comfortable that my child would be safe in that in environment, from bullying, inappropriate teaching, worse.

pickledsiblings Mon 11-Feb-13 15:22:29

Pavlov, that's sort of my feeling although the school seemed nice and the kids happy.

Current head is not head teacher but head of school. Head teacher is also head teacher of another v. well established RC school and comes in 2 days per week.

Any idea how I might find out more? Perhaps I'll ring the LEA.

pickledsiblings Mon 11-Feb-13 16:42:48

I called the LEA and they were able to tell me that the ex-head was not sacked but no more, although they did suggest that I contact the Head teacher for further reassurance. How can something like this be confidential? Can't they just categorise the issue/s?

VivaLeBeaver Mon 11-Feb-13 16:43:55

I've known it happen before and there was some serious book fiddling going on.

2cats2many Mon 11-Feb-13 16:46:26

The cases that I know about involved theft/fraud. The governors weren't involved, but were dismissed for failing to stop it and, therefore, not doing their job.

MariusEarlobe Mon 11-Feb-13 16:47:00

Can you search local media for school name around time it happened?

MariusEarlobe Mon 11-Feb-13 16:48:06

If just governors were sacked and not the head or teachers I would not be as worried.

Tommy Mon 11-Feb-13 16:51:01

can you tell us the school?
Presumably it was the foundation govs who were asked to leave by the Bishop?
very strange and the comment about "upholding the Catholic ethos" unless it was something innocuous like falling out with the priest or not having prayers etc at the school. The LEA doesn't give 2 hoots about the Catholic ethos

pickledsiblings Mon 11-Feb-13 19:57:48

Tommy, I don't want to name the school for obvious reasons. You're right btw, it was the foundation govs asked to leave by the Bishop. I think the newish head at the time was ill-appointed and the govs failed to prevent the school from failing under her or something like that. Is that a sacking offence?

pickledsiblings Mon 11-Feb-13 19:59:50

Marius, the local media is how I got wind of the situation. It says that a 200 page dossier with numerous complaints was handed over to the LEA. The head of Gov services said to me today that the education of children ie their progress was compromised.

Tommy Mon 11-Feb-13 22:48:00

it's quite easy these days to get rid of a Head so if the school was going backwards then yes, easy to sack them.
Foundation governors are appointed by the Bishop so he can easily ask them to step down if they have not kept their eyes on the ball I suppose.
Presumably the new Head has sorted it out which is why she doesn't want to talk about it anymore - no longer relevent.

LatteLady Mon 11-Feb-13 22:58:46

Failing to uphold the Catholic ethos, is a classic cover all for Catholic schools and will usually only be used for senior managers, when other categories for dismissal will not work. However bear in mind, the Church moves slowly and will do so in concert with the LA, whilst holding the upper hand.

Governors are rarely dismissed, in this case it is likely that they were foundation governors, who were removed by the Diocese for not following the Diocesan line.

As this happened several years ago, I would suggest it is no longer relevant, you will learn much more by visiting the school and talking to parents at the school gate.

pickledsiblings Tue 12-Feb-13 10:40:33

Thanks for the responses. Yes, it is most likely no longer relevant. I just wish there could be more transparency.

pickledsiblings Tue 12-Feb-13 10:43:57

The school seemed really nice but the Head of school annoyed me in the way that she directed most of her conversation to DH. Would that annoy anyone?

She also made sweeping generalisations about things like no schools get all outstanding nowadays and school dinners are never great etc which made me thing that she wasn't particularly aspirational...

rabbitstew Tue 12-Feb-13 10:53:13

There is nothing I find more annoying than someone who lacks the courtesy to talk to both parents sitting in the room with them.

pickledsiblings Tue 12-Feb-13 11:03:00

Of course DH thought she was great grin.

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