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Underperforming headteachers, gardening leave & references

(6 Posts)
carcrash Sun 30-Mar-14 22:42:34

Our local academy which 'requires improvement' (actually its best judgement for many years, so we were hoping it was on the way up) has appointed a new headteacher with a very poor track record. He has just 3 years' of previous Headship experience which ended in him being ousted by his governors for poor performance and multiple relationship breakdown. However, it was hushed up. I only know because I have connections at the previous school. He was given gardening leave, and has been doing supply jobs for a while. I'm gobsmacked that the appointment has been made and can only assume that either a) he was the only one who applied and/or b) he was given an embellished reference as part of his redundancy package.

What are the politics of situations like this? Do schools really cover up poor performance in order to move a poor leader on to another unsuspecting school? Do Local Authorities not communicate with each other to avoid situations like this? If you were me, would you tell friends who might be planning to put their trust in the school, or keep quiet on the grounds that the Head deserves a second chance to prove himself?

doodledotmum Sun 30-Mar-14 22:58:14

This has happened places I have worked - give good ref so people can move and move the issue. Not sure if you can do anything tho

MM5 Mon 31-Mar-14 05:47:31

It is likely he left with a compromised agreement. It gets the person out quicker than normal performance management. The reference is an agreed reference by both sides.

But, to be honest, references are usually the last thing to be looked at. If he did well in interview, all you need is 2 positive refernces.

It happens and there is usually lots of legql wranggling.

But, as an aside, I know of a HT (Retired niw) who was badgered out of a previous job by her GB and some teachers because they didn't like how she was doing things, mainly making them work! She moved on with an agreed reference to a school in even worse standing and within a year moved it from Special Measures to Good with outstanding features. The staff and givernors were committed to improving and were proactive.

You don't know the whole story. But, I assure you that GB's have ways and means of finding out why a HT has moved or left.

MM5 Mon 31-Mar-14 05:49:35

Sorry for all the typos! Typing on phone is not easy!

trinity0097 Mon 31-Mar-14 07:04:35

I was a school governor, we were forbidden from reading references when we appointed a new HT. The LA rep was allowed to tell us if there was anything in the reference that would forbid the person working, but nothing positive (or not!). And this was after we had decided on the candidate. Stupid system if you ask me!!!

lainiekazan Mon 31-Mar-14 10:10:11


I went on a HT recruitment course with the LA and we were told repeatedly never to appoint a head because you were desperate or to pick the best of a bad bunch. It is virtually impossible to get rid of someone and, indeed, sometimes the more glowing the reference the more their previous school wants to get rid of them.

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