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Great Teachers at dds school but awful head what would you do? Sorry Long

(33 Posts)
neverforget Tue 09-Sep-08 09:42:19

Have name changed for this as I think school could guess who I was on other name.

Basic dilema is that dd has a good teacher in yr 1 and seems happy enough at the school but I have real issues with the ethos and management of the head teacher, basically she is not able enough to run the school and its run apallingly, staff management is terrible, they get no support, results are terrible, ofsted is terrible, events at Christmas and summer ect ect are really badly run, children rarely go on trips etc and she is very often quite rude and sometimes even quite aggressive in her manner with parents, I have actually heard her threaten social services with a parent who complained about her head teaching!

The children dont achieve their best as she doesnt seem to have a clue how to manage despite being a head for years, she is basically running what was a good school into the ground and school now in special measures.

The staff are obviously not happy either as during the summer holidays they have lost 8 members of staff inc 4 teachers from the infant department alone.

DDs alone class have lost 5 children in the last 6 weeks of school time (2 since going back and 4 in the four weeks before summer holidays.

DD seems happy enough but she is the sort of child who despite being bright would happily go through school and do nothing. But the teacher seems good and not the type to let that happen. However she will only have this teacher for one year and the teacher she would go up to is lovely but a bit of a softy (would be fab in reception!) but not strict enough for dd.

So would you leave your child were they were
as she is happy or would the head teachers running of the school make you look elsewhere?

neverforget Tue 09-Sep-08 09:44:26

not just me who feels this way btw
before dd started there was a petition by parents to get rid of head.

The other thing worrying me is 5 children lost from a class especially when some of those are your childs friends changes the whole structure of a class

OrmIrian Tue 09-Sep-08 09:46:16

Well our head was struggling a few years back and in the end the school was put in special measures. New head has worked wonders.

I think a good head is easily as important as good teachers. If you have an incompetent head you have no recourse in case of problems with the teachers, or anything else. Is there any chance that your head might move on? If the school has major problems due to a failure of management the LEA will be aware of it.

OrmIrian Tue 09-Sep-08 09:46:17

Well our head was struggling a few years back and in the end the school was put in special measures. New head has worked wonders.

I think a good head is easily as important as good teachers. If you have an incompetent head you have no recourse in case of problems with the teachers, or anything else. Is there any chance that your head might move on? If the school has major problems due to a failure of management the LEA will be aware of it.

OrmIrian Tue 09-Sep-08 09:46:44

Oops. Sorry!

Sidge Tue 09-Sep-08 09:47:59

Can you have a word in confidence with the school governors? If staff and parents have concerns I believe the governing body can influence action regarding the head - a vote of no confidence maybe?

Maybe also contact the LEA with your worries - this will carry more weight if you have other parents and even staff behind you.

Anna8888 Tue 09-Sep-08 09:48:56

I think a good head is very important. Crucial, even.

I adore the headmistress of my daughter's school - she is the most fabulous head teacher you could imagine. Some of the teachers aren't perfect, but many have been there since long before she became head (two years ago). The school is improving fast under her leadership. I am very optimistic about the future of what is already a very good school.

neverforget Tue 09-Sep-08 09:50:56

She has fought every effort to move her on, dont know whether the petiton was sent to LEA but Im sure they have questioned why they lost 8 members of staff from just the infant department only and they must be aware of the amount of children changing from the school.

Would it make you change schools even if your dc teacher seemed good?

Anna8888 Tue 09-Sep-08 09:52:45

Given all you write, yes, in your position I would try to change my daughter's school.

OrmIrian Tue 09-Sep-08 09:52:52

It might neverforget. If there was some hope of getting rid the school would probably improve. If she won't go I would be concerned.

In both my DC's schools good heads have turned them around.

ingles2 Tue 09-Sep-08 09:53:49

neverforget I've just moved my ds's from a school with similar problems, poor head, then no head at all, then ineffectual head, special measures, poor ofsted etc etc, my boys were always happy though, so I um'd and ah'd for 2 years. Eventually I was given a kick up the backside by a tutor we were seeing and moved them. Things are going great so far, have seen a big improvement in the ds's attitude to school and it's only been a week!
What is the likelihood of this head moving in reality? I'm sure the LEA must be aware there are problems but is a very slow procedure and quite frankly I wasn't prepared to sit and wait to see if things became any worse.
Is there a good alternative school nearby? Why don't you go and have a look and get a feel for it? To warn you though... if you make an appointment the school are obliged to inform your current school. so the head WILL know.

neverforget Tue 09-Sep-08 09:57:56

I dont think she would move without a fight, she can be quiet nasty and I have visions of them dragging her kicking and screaming from the building lol.

neverforget Tue 09-Sep-08 09:58:26

do they tell your school even if you go and look around?

fatzak Tue 09-Sep-08 09:59:16

Tricky isn't it? We've just moved DS for a similar reason, then this week the Head's job was advertised!!! Are very happy that we have moved him though.

wessexgirl Tue 09-Sep-08 10:00:18

When was the last Ofsted? If one is due (as it should be, if her mismanagement has dragged on for a long time) that might sort it out.

Otherwise, I second the person who suggested a word with one of the governors. If they are not helpful, approach the LEA.

fatzak Tue 09-Sep-08 10:00:36

No, I don't think they will tell them. I was worried about this too as the two schools are only a mile apart and I imagine that the Heads have a lot of contact with each other. The new Head told us it was entirely up to us when we informed the old school.

Sobernow Tue 09-Sep-08 10:00:57

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

wessexgirl Tue 09-Sep-08 10:01:25

(I would also start looking around other schools at the same time though.) Good luck.

ingles2 Tue 09-Sep-08 10:02:57

I made an appointment to view 2 other schools and when I went for pick up that afternoon, the Head was waiting for me, demanding to know why!
I'd suggest you give a false name and say you are moving out of area.

ingles2 Tue 09-Sep-08 10:03:50

This move is the best thing I've ever done btw, can't believe I didn't do it before.

neverforget Tue 09-Sep-08 10:12:09

ofsted was done late last year and was all about poor management, staff shifts, discontent in school and unsettling for children ect. When head started most of the teachers had been there 20 to 30 years, now longest running teacher is 14 months.

Head of governers is very good friends with head so that wont work. LEA or school change only option really.

Just wondered if I would be unreasonable to move dd from a good teacher were she is fairly happy because of the head.

thanks for peoples replies, they are really helping

wessexgirl Tue 09-Sep-08 10:14:44

I think when it comes down to it, good schools with bad heads are very, very rare indeed.

I think it's reasonable to consider a move; your dd's good teacher might be drafting her resignation letter right now!

DrGeorge Tue 09-Sep-08 10:44:54

It is really difficult to get rid of a HT no matter how bad they are! If ofsted visited last year and found poor management etc then they will revisit quite quickly probably within a couple of years. However as a parent you do have the right to contact ofsted directly and I would do this - stick to the facts and run through the last report but write to them and tell them that nothing has changed. Copy this letter to the Chair of Governors and the LA.

I would also seriously consider moving your child - if the HT is not good then, no matter how good other teachers are the school will deteriorate, teachers will leave.

PoorOldEnid Tue 09-Sep-08 10:46:10

it sounds awful

I'd go elsewhere personally

OrmIrian Tue 09-Sep-08 10:50:21

Bear in mind also that if the head is bad any good teachers may well leave. No-one likes being badly looked after.

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