Governors to be replaced at Essex school

THE entire governing body of a crisis-hit Essex school is set to be dismissed following a highly critical Ofsted report, the EADT can reveal.But yesterday the chairman of the board said it would appeal against the decision and that he felt governors had been treated unfairly.

By Roddy Ashworth

THE entire governing body of a crisis-hit Essex school is set to be dismissed following a highly critical Ofsted report, the EADT can reveal.

But yesterday the chairman of the board said it would appeal against the decision and that he felt governors had been treated unfairly.

The unusual proposed dismissal comes after inspectors highlighted a range of serious problems with the way the Alderman Blaxill School in Colchester was being managed.


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The headteacher of the 550-pupil school, Faith Spinlove, is also set to receive support from a new executive headteacher in an attempt to turn the school's fortunes around.

Last month, following the Ofsted report, Alderman Blaxill was placed in special measures - meaning it is failing to provide an acceptable standard of education.

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The damning Ofsted report categorised both leadership and management at Alderman Blaxill as “inadequate”.

The report added that “governors have not challenged the school's poor performance sufficiently” and that the governing body “has not ensured that there is a clear strategic direction”.

It also said the governors “have not challenged the school for the lack of improvements since the last inspection”.

A spokeswoman for Essex County Council said last night that the decision to recommend Alderman Blaxhill's governors be dismissed had not been taken lightly.

She added: “Essex County Council takes its responsibility for the education of young people very seriously and when a school is placed in special measures it has a duty to act quickly and robustly in order to ensure a good standard of education is maintained.”

She added: “Consequently, following the recent Ofsted report and its placement in special measures, the council's school officials are proposing to replace the board of governors at Alderman Blaxill school with an Interim Executive Board (IEB).”

The IEB, which is appointed to secure a sound basis for future improvement in the school and promote high standards of educational achievement, would replace the Governing Body for as long as it takes to succeed in its aims.

Essex County Council cabinet member for schools, children and families, Tracey Chapman, said: “This has been an extremely difficult decision to make.

“The board of governors has worked hard on behalf of the school but the Ofsted report highlighted too many areas in need of improvement.

“Our duty to the youngsters at the school is paramount and we hope that this move will help the school to recover its standards quickly and ensure the pupils a bright future.”

The proposal to replace the governing body will be submitted to the Secretary of State for education on August 9.

But Ray Norris, chairman of the governors, said they would appeal against the decision. “Anything we say just inflames the situation.

“But this has come very much as a shock and we don't feel we have been given an opportunity to put into action a plan that Ofsted had approved.

“As I understand the process and the law, there has to be a period of consultation, so we have written to them asking them about the process.”

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