Governing body is told to ‘get a grip’

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A COUNCILLOR has accused the governing body at Seathorne Primary School of confusing parents with its ‘shambolic’ handling of an interim head teacher’s appointment.

Governors announced to parents in a newsletter that Karen Foster will be replacing Emma Hadley as interim head teacher until the return of Iain Cameron.

The decision has confused Carl Macey who was suspended as a community governor at the school for discussing the appointment of the previous head with Coun Colin Davie - who is equally surprised at the announcement.

Coun Davie said: “To parents viewing events at Seathorne Primary school they must by now be completely confused.

“The governing body has now appointed the head strongly recommended by the CfBT back in October.

“The only governor who supported that appointment then, has been suspended.

“Quite honestly the governing body needs to get a grip and remember they are to address the best interests of the children and the school.

“Recent events have been a total shambles and questions really do need to be asked and answered by the chair of governors.”

Coun Davie and Mr Macey believe that the decision marks a complete U-turn from the governing body’s previous choice just two months ago when it appointed Mrs Hadley in favour of Mrs Foster.

Mrs Hadley is also the head teacher at Ingoldmells Primary School and was therefore unable to dedicate all of her time to Seathorne, whereas Mrs Foster, who had been strongly recommended by the CfBT, was thought to have no other professional responsibilities to carry out alongside the role.

However chairman of governors Peter Tong has since explained that Mrs Foster was carrying out other interim head teacher duties at the time and that she could not have been appointed until now,

He said: “Karen Foster was carrying out interim head duties at another school at that time. She (and others) were not available without weakening other schools.”

Despite this explanation, Mr Macey and Coun Davie both believe the way in the governing body originally put Mrs Hadley forward for the role without looking into any other options, was inappropriate.

Mr Macey also believes his suspension for breaching confidentiality in discussing that appointment was too harshly imposed particularly as now the head teacher that he had supported all along has been appointed to the role.

He said: “I’m quite surprised because this offer could have been put in place two months ago.

“Mrs Foster is supposedly an excellent head teacher who could have brought a wealth of knowledge, so I cannot understand why we had Emma Hadley as a part-time head teacher instead.

“I was suspended for raising the questions of why we didn’t have at least two candidates and now we have the head that was put forward as the second candidate.”