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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.

lougle Fri 04-Jan-13 08:50:31

I doubt text message would be seen as an appropriate way to convey this sort of information.

jamdonut Tue 01-Jan-13 16:12:19

Our head went very suddenly,not long after our slip into special measures. It was just announced to the children in a sudden assembly,and everyone was very upset. No notice to the parents till the end of the day,in a letter,nothing anyone could say or do.
The drafted-in, extra, deputy head, became acting head. We are now greatly improving, but the school has had a high turn-over of staff in the last year-18months, so those of uswho are left are not very happy bunnies.And exhausted.

madwomanintheattic Tue 01-Jan-13 01:12:15

Not native English? I beg to differ. But it is v PA to suggest not, and made me laugh a wee bit. grin will castigate self, obv.

Ilovesunflowers Mon 31-Dec-12 17:25:49

Maybe the poor man didn't want a fuss made and requested parents were informed in a 'non fuss way'. You need to leave this alone. Your child doesn't even attend the school anymore. It's none of your business.

bamboostalks Mon 31-Dec-12 16:07:47

"The fact it had a bad ofsted and poor sats was the icing on the cake." Do you realise how tese comments sound? Strange to be wasting your precious time back slapping yourself in a congratulatory manner. The head could have a terminal illness for all you know. Just concentrate on the new school, they are lucky to have acquired you.

yellowsubmarine53 Mon 31-Dec-12 15:23:49

I think that's fairly obvious too teacher, and very unfair to berate OP about.

I don't think people are being harsh tbh - it is hard to see what OP hoped to gain from a thread on MN.

crazymum53 Mon 31-Dec-12 15:20:53

If Head's are planning on moving to another school or job, then there is a longer notice period than that for teachers. However when retiring on health grounds, which sadly often happens, the usual notice period doesn't apply.
The LEA would provide advice to the school governors about the procedures for appointing a permanent Head and support for the Acting Head to enable her to lead the school. It is up to the governors to make sure that the deputy's class is covered during this period and that an effective leadership structure is in place.
This situation could affect parents who are applying for primary school this year and could deter some from applying to this school or make it a lower preference. This could have a knock on effect on school applications for September that could effect the OP if she is applying for a school place for her child this September.
teacherwith2kids I agree - had assumed the same as you about the OP.

teacherwith2kids Mon 31-Dec-12 14:51:18


I had always assumed that mam's first language was not English?

herecomestherainbloodyyetagain Mon 31-Dec-12 12:11:57

Your child has left and this is not really going to affect you so it's just idle gossip.

Might I suggest you spend your time on something more useful instead such as learning to post in a more readable style, using paragraphs as your dreadful lists of garbled sentences are hard to deal with

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

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

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....

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

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.

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.

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?

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.

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.

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 .

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.

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...

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....

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.

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

you sound mean OP.

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.

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.

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