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Ok sudden departure of head mid term -is this bad?

(34 Posts)
mam29 Sat 29-Dec-12 00:13:57

Thankfully I escaped it as moved dd after half term but kind of thourght this may happen but not this quick and still have worried freinds at old school.

Today one of dds freinds mums was going through bookbag and stapled to daughters picture was a letter saying current head was retiring immediatly and deputy would be acting head until replacement found.

The school use texts-no text sent

nothing said by teachers to parents or pupils last day term.

nothing on website.

hes been head for nearly 15years find it really odd.

I knew hes been sick last few weeks as hear from other parents.

I know some parents think hes the issue but think problems in the school are greater than that high staff sickness, lots of temporary staff, falling attainment, downgraded ofsted, the old deputy head was on and off sick for years . A lot of junior parents mostly unhappy.

The deputy head teaches mixed year 4/5hunior class-so now she needs a replacement and part time has year 6teacher covering which seems unfair as year 6important year and their sats compared to other local schools not too good.

Im guessing hardly any parents know as not many would look in depth in bookbag -no warning.

Anyway ofsted downgraded summer term last year to satisfactory will they revisit within year?

As another primary was put in special measures partly due to no head and had total clearout and 2new heads brought it.

I dont know how long will take to recruit my guess is new person wont start until sept next academic year so 6months uncertainty.

Its all bit od wondering why out the blue and no communication?
surly be better to drag him out until end of summer term as figurehead rather tahn leave no one at the helm?

I dont know it being faith school if new head has to be of faith but think they need a strong expereinced candidate to shake things up again.

A few already moved. freinds mums asking should she move?
I can see lot of people really annoyed and possibly lead to more moving and next round applications of reception being down.

But then read here and maybe special measures is what the school needs.

Feel bit sad as did like the old head personally he was nice enough chap but I was unhappy with lots of things schools did and dident do.

Guessing deputy in temporary position can only make reactive chnanges and play musical teachers again and get in more supply.
The budgets, policies and classes already set for this year so fail to see how she can make much impact and move school fowards considering whats happened.

oh saying well done me but kind of feel sad too im slightly puzzled by schools actions seems really bad move and thourght heads would have to give terms notice like teachers.

madwomanintheattic Sat 29-Dec-12 01:10:12

He doesn't have to work notice if he has been signed off sick, and has been advised that he is unlikely to recover. Better to get the recruitment cycle started ASAP if he knows he isn't coming back. It sounds as though he has been poorly for some time, and has had to make an unwanted decision.

I don't like that everyone is picking over his bones and suggesting that he has been forced to resign or been sacked. It smacks of gossip mongering. As does starting a thread about it on the 29th Dec when your kid left the school two months ago.

That said, I'm sure all those whiners and moaners are active school governors, and so will steer the appointment process appropriately like the good citizens they are (like feck) to ensure the candidate they choose can take the school in the direction that the board envisages. Even the one that only checked the book bag today. grin

It isn't unusual for the deputy to take over for two terms before a new HT starts. Sometimes the deputy successfully applies for the HT post. <shrugs>

Am lolling at 'really bad move'. Cos the school purposefully got the poor old boy's health to go rapidly downhill, innit...

<twitches curtains>
<purses mouth>
<gets onto Facebook to spread a few more rumours>

Startail Sat 29-Dec-12 02:01:45

Our lovely head of maths continued working long after, I think she knew her lung cancer was terminal. Would have been easier for the school if she'd admitted she wouldn't be back after the summer holidays.
But clearly no one could have asked her to let them look for a replacement.

Please don't gossip, before you know.

mam29 Sat 29-Dec-12 08:21:57

My intention wasent to gossip my child attended that school just over 2years I knew the guy fairly well as was on the pta and up until leaving have tried to be suportive of the school.

The fact hes ill or leavings not the point,

My question is how will it affect the school?

Its seems really shoddy way to communicate such a love when hes worked there for so long.

Yes some people are not his greatest fan but like I said to be honest it would be wrong to soley blame head.

Im sure behind the scenes theres probably good reasons.

Just way was announced and suddenness of it .

Like i say although moved on feel quite sad thats all.

Ever since ofsted everyones been bit on edge as theres pressure to improve and quite a few staff changes for 3/10classes and 2replacemet heads then recruitment starting.

As I said I was asked a question, wasent sure of answer so asked here.

My other child still attends attached preschool.
I still have a few mummy freinds there and dd 1 has mates there still it was tough decision to move on as thourght it would be the school for all of mine.I tried everything I could to reconcile differences and stay.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Sat 29-Dec-12 08:28:55

Of course your intention was to gossip. Poor man.

mam29 Sat 29-Dec-12 08:49:14

Blimey have I accidentally posted in aibu by mistake.

As dident think I deserved a judgemental flaming over asking a legitimate question of personal stuff asside ho will lack of head effect the school?

I reguarly contribute to the education boards here,
I have been given some fab help and advice and greatful for that.
I also try help others if I can.

Its not like i never post here then suddenly post this?
I dont know anyone here so fail to see how its gossip.

gossip would be discussing on fb which wouldent do.

Due to suddenness or change people are bound to talk.

I wish in happyness and luck with retirement.

I think being a head is very difficult, stressful job lots of pressure right now.

mrz Sat 29-Dec-12 09:14:54

I'm not sure what you want from posting here as your child no longer attends the school but the sudden departure could be a very positive thing if the right replacement is found. I would expect the school to recruit fairly quickly (certainly not Sept) or the LEA to put someone in place if necessary.

I once worked for a fantastic head who became ill due to parental pressure and left unexpectedly. The deputy head had been covering (and doing a fantastic job) due to the head's illness and continued until governors appointed a new head within a few weeks. School has never looked back and those parents whose immediate reaction was to jump ship were soon seeking to return. Unfortunately for them most were unsuccessful

VivaLeBeaver Sat 29-Dec-12 09:20:43

It's happened at dd's old primary. No real notice. A letter came two days before the start of the new school year saying head wasn't coming back and there would be anew head. New head was fab and turned the school round. So in that case it was a positive.

LIZS Sat 29-Dec-12 09:26:34

Unlikely to make any difference at preschool age and presumably having moved one child your other will follow. Circumstances may have been such as to enforce a quick departure and better to have a planned handover than very sudden. If management work as a team then it is likely deputy has had some input already. Presumably you wouldn't now be in a position to know how much notice was given anyway?

mam29 Sat 29-Dec-12 09:37:17

Thanks guys told her not to panic.

just people be more upset about shifty way to communicate.

dd2 happy at preschool but the primary wont be on my 3 choices.

Im sure the school can only move foward read on here all time how sometimes extra help from lea can be best thing thats happened to some schools.

Just uncertaintly and upheavel. I forsaw this and my dd was struggling and needed extra help so i made right decision but some kids do well there so its not a very bad school just wrong fit for dd.

MissDuke Sat 29-Dec-12 11:12:23

If I were you, I would just be pleased that the new school is working out so well for you so this really is not your problem! It is lovely though that you still feel loyalty towards this school, and clearly want to see it suceed. I do think it is a shame that communicatin has been so poor, I am sure parents would have appreciated the opportunity to give him a proper 'send off', but perhaps it is too upsetting for him if his health really is bad, poor guy.

kilmuir Sat 29-Dec-12 11:18:05

you sound mean OP.

Panzee Sat 29-Dec-12 11:21:37

A lot of the problems that you think have nothing to do with the head, e.g. "high staff sickness, lots of temporary staff, falling attainment, downgraded ofsted, the old deputy head was on and off sick for years" often have everything to do with the head.

simpson Sat 29-Dec-12 13:20:14

A new HT would certainly not be recruited to start in September.

My DC school lost their HT when DS was in reception (don't know why - I think she retired) and a new HT started a couple of months later in May...

It could be a good thing, to have a new HT. my DC school has been turned around by the new Head....

simpson Sat 29-Dec-12 13:21:06

Forgot to say, I don't remember being told that the old HT was going, she just left...

admission Sat 29-Dec-12 18:39:03

There are very clear rules around the level of notice that in theory any teacher or head teacher has to give when moving to another position. So whilst a new head teacher is not impossible to start after Easter, it is possible that it will be September before a new head starts. I say this partially as this is a faith school and the stats say that recruiting a new head teacher for a faith school take longer than for a community school. To appoint a new head who is already a head teacher, they have to give what is in effect a term's notice, but if it is a deputy head appointed to the head's position then it is only half a term.
The fact that a rapid decision has been made for the head teacher to retire immediately, says that this is probably due to ill-health. Quite frankly it is to both the school and the head's credit that they have both recognised that this is the right long term decision for the school and the now ex head teacher.
If the Diocese and LA believed that there was a need for a experienced temporary head teacher from another school, then they would have hopefully made such a decision with the school governing body. The fact that the deputy head would appear to have been appointed as acting head teacher until a permanent appointment is made would suggest that they have the confidence in the deputy head being able to take the school forward in the interim. That is nothing unusual and is going to be happening in schools up and down the country.
There is obviously a bit of a communication problem with parents, because this has not been well handled but again that is not exactly unknown in schools - they can be very poor at communication with parents.
I would see this as a starting point for the school to change and improve under new leadership but it does obviously depend on the calibre of the leadership skills of the deputy head in the short term.

missmapp Sat 29-Dec-12 18:46:50

This happened at my school- we had a 'superhead ' drafted in until a new head was appointed ( about 6mths later)Our old head took ( was forced to ) early retierment, so went off sick and was never seen by the children again, this was sad as , despite his faults, he was wonderful witht he children and they really missed him.

It was an unstable time for the school, but now ( over a year later) things are much better and consistent. we still have the threat of ofsted and sm over our heads, but the results are improving and leadership is much better.

Hopefully it will be the same for this school .

madwomanintheattic Sat 29-Dec-12 21:20:59


Lol at a letter sent to parents in the book bag, stapled to photos so that they knew it would be read, being described as 'shifty'! Only on Mn.

mam29 Sat 29-Dec-12 22:08:49

Thanks admission thats really informative and helpful post.

I wasent sure fact it was faith ould make it harder as old head was catholic and dont think deputy head is,

The deputy heads only been there just over a year.
the old deputy head was off sick longterm then retired .

Dds freinds mum has decided as backup to apply for 2junior schools as deadlines 15th jan.

As for shifty- in bookbag as letter by itself not shifty
but no mention ie from teacher saying please get parents to check bookbags or text parents and say see letter in bookbag as it being xmas hols and they broke up late this year many having a rest and wouldent have thourght to look.

There was no december newsletter
no announcement on website.

They have the tools to communicate they chose not to.

I mean the man was there 15years he deserves better,
Even up to leaving always had good relationship with him found him very hardworking and pleasent the kids adored him.

Missmap sounds very similar glad to hear you doing well.

I also told the mum to book appoitment with head and see whats happenening maybe she will turn things aroudn she seems very ambituous and keen.

Just because i moved mine i did so personal reasons as was unhappy with the teaching and my child was unhappy the fact it had bad ofsted and not so good sats was icing on cake.
we only left end of october so still feel really sad about leaving my freinds and hers I been lucky to find somewhere and my daughters happy but it was a gamble grass aint always greener.

When we looked around ofsted was good and the head was part of reason we chose that school. When I said to my oh sadly think we need to move her he said i will miss the head so I have no bad feeling towards he head and in back of mind I suspected her wouldent be there long term.

The downgraded ofsted has brought some stress and worry to the school and did think they had improved communication last term and now they do this.

yellowsubmarine53 Sat 29-Dec-12 23:29:44

This is quite an unpleasant thread, and I don't know what you hoped to gain by starting it.

Just focus on your child's new school, really, isn't that enough to be getting on with?

madwomanintheattic Mon 31-Dec-12 01:21:39

'Now they do this'

Lord above. They haven't 'done' anything. What if he only made the decision that morning, in conjunction with his doctors and the LA? And they had to get letters run off and kick start the LA, notify the C of G, and juggle Christmas mayhem in the meantime? School have done absolutely nothing wrong - it sounds like a last minute decision so that he could rest over Christmas and know he didn't have to return (heaven help your curtain twitching if the poor chap actually doesn't make it that far).

All this bitterness against a school and chap that apparently you quite liked, it just wasn't right. Whatever. Keep twitching those curtains and moaning about the unnecessary if it makes you feel better.

Hopefully the exHT is having a well earned rest away from stressy parents who believe his old school can do no right, remove their kids, and still have the temerity to moan about it.

I'd retire at short notice, too.

Ladymuck Mon 31-Dec-12 08:01:28

Ds2s head master resigned at a half term with basically no notice. The deputy was on holiday, so had to curtail her holiday to come back and recruit a temp to cover her class. No explanation was ever forthcoming, and we have never seen the head again. First we knew was coming back to school after half term and getting a letter in book bags. The rumour mill indicated that the Head was very ill with a degenerative disease.

The situation obviously wasn't ideal, but all parents accepted that the governors couldn't have done any more in the circumstances. The budget was rejigged so that the deputy had some leeway to make changes. Certainly the deputy (now head) had an awful lot more energy than her predecessor and has made a number of changes to the school.

LatteLady Mon 31-Dec-12 10:29:25

Frankly OP, this is none of your business. Your child no longer attends the school and it has no impact on your life.

The most likely reason is illness... and this may not necessarily be the Head's illness but a family member. Until you have had to deal with a situation like this, as I have done on two separate occasions as a CoG, you will have no idea how stressful this is for all concerned. What I suggest you remember is that the SMT, Governors, Teachers, LA and Diocese will have the interests of the children front and centre.

Now go away and find something else to focus upon and do not prey upon the misfortune (whatever it may be) of others. hmm

simpson Mon 31-Dec-12 12:00:49

Actually ATM it does impact on her life as her other child attends the nursery there...

I think some people are being unnecessarily harsh tbh however I will say that there is an element of smugness (whether deliberate dead or not) as in I got my child out in time....

simpson Mon 31-Dec-12 12:01:39

Oops, don't know where the random dead came from blush

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