Free school head without any teaching qualifications plans to ignore curriculum

(313 Posts)
mrz Sun 10-Mar-13 11:52:06
muminlondon Sun 13-Oct-13 14:59:10

There's more on it in a local paper:

'A source close to the school told West End Extra that there had been an incident where parenting skills were called into question. They described it as a “Victorian approach to schooling”. It is believed the deputy head of Millbank Academy, another Future-run primary school, Kelly Teddy has been parachuted in to “hold the fort while they try to sort it all out”. '

So perhaps it was the stress of dealing with parents...

muminlondon Sun 13-Oct-13 15:00:21

...I wonder if they had her email address? wink

RiversideMum Sun 13-Oct-13 15:16:04

Obviously the normal notice period does not apply in free schools either ...

nlondondad Sun 13-Oct-13 16:48:33

Interestingly last Thursday I was at a "Consultation meeting" organised by the proposers of a Free School, that, if it opens will open near me. At the meeting we were assured in the strongest possible terms by Bellvue Ltd, the commercial company that want to set up the school, that all the teachers would be fully qualified and the Head, when appointed would be both qualified AND experienced... The Pimlico case was never mentioned, but I think it must have been in their minds...

nlondondad Sun 13-Oct-13 17:13:56
friday16 Sun 13-Oct-13 22:23:29

Now that Free Schools are Labour orthodoxy as well, it's going to be amusing to watch the Guardian pirouette and suddenly decide that they are a dynamic and innovative response to education policy, the sort of thing that this country needs more of.

www.theguardian.com/education/2013/oct/13/tristam-hunt-labour-free-schools

nlondondad Sun 13-Oct-13 22:44:46

Actually what the Guardian article says is that Labour have said theywill support parent led free schools in areas where there is a shortage of school places. Under a quarter of Free Schools are being set up by parents at the moment.

(So for example, the The Free School in Islington I keep banging on about is being proposed by a commercial company to open in an area where there is no shortage of places, which is quite a different case.....)

friday16 Sun 13-Oct-13 23:08:22

Actually, Hunt included social entrepreneurs in his list of groups that would be allowed to set up not Free, oh no, completely difference, schools.

You're welcome to interpret that as excluding commercial companies.

It's a policy car-crash: Free schools allow in all sorts of charlatans, and Hunt's announcement is just a thin coat of paint on the same thing.

muminlondon Mon 14-Oct-13 00:05:10

Free schools are just new academies. Labour has to justify why it created/approved sponsored academies in the first place. And figure out why many are unpopular with middle class parents - they were forced conversions in many cases but with capital investment.

The problem with the Hunt article is that so far he doesn't mention
(a) how the Academies Act prevents councils from setting up its own schools,
(b) how to get some oversight over fair admissions, including faith schools which can still be set up as both voluntary aided (100% faith criteria) or free schools (50% cap but often outside the existing network of church organisation)
(c) how to get schools collaborating rather than competing
(d) a categorical rejection of profit-making and conflicts of interest among government decision-makers and Ofsted inspectors.

But apart from that I'm sure he's jolly nice.

friday16 Mon 14-Oct-13 00:19:06

Labour having been working on the assumption that all they need to do is sit tight and the Tories will lose the next election, either via a hideous scandal or via the economy still being in the toilet. They've also been working on the assumption that the Lib Dem vote will collapse to zero and every one of those votes will come "back" to Labour; the idea that Labour are the natural owners of the SDP Lib Dem vote, an idea that the last thirty years' history should have disabused them of, is apparently still prevalent.

Neither appears to be the case, and Labour are (at last) thinking they might actually have to publish a manifesto and campaign on some policies in 2015. Unfortunately, the poor loves aren't really quite up to it, and therefore "we'll do what the Tories do, so don't worry about instability, but it'll all be fluffier and nicer in ways we can't quite define" is about all they can do.

Accepting Osbourne's spending plans are binding on an incoming Labour government is kind-of OK: the economy's still going to be substantial deficit, and a Labour party that planned to increase annual borrowing and/or raise taxation wouldn't be electable. Even they can see that. But why the fuck do they see the need to pre-commit to essentially continuing unchanged Gove's education policies? If an incoming government is going to do the same as the existing government, why bother changing?

nennypops Mon 14-Oct-13 10:00:42

Back on topic - I recently had to deal with the process of performance review and target setting for the headteacher at a school where I'm a governor. It was blindingly obvious that no head without experience of teaching could conceivably do that job, and you have to wonder what on earth Lord Nash was thinking putting his protegée up for it. Reports suggest she was finding it too stressful with only 60 children in the school, so she didn't have a hope in hell of coping with a full school.

muminlondon Mon 14-Oct-13 11:45:15

I agree - she was unqualified and completely lacking in experience, and I feel sorry for her for having been subjected to such stress as she was so obviously out of her depth.

Lord Nash wrote the foreword for the Governors' Handbook in May 2013. Section 5.2 'Appointing staff':

'Appointing a head teacher is a pivotal decision in the life of a school. It is crucial that a governing body has the skills it needs to carry out a thorough and effective selection process.'

They have an acting head at the secondary and have asked a deputy at a newly acquired primary to step in the breach here, which puts pressure on staff at the other school. Apparently another class teacher at Pimlico primary has left. He and his wife are co-chair of governors of Pimlico Academy and his wife is chair of the primary.

As governors he and his wife are obviously lacking in the skills and competence to make an effective appointment. But as they sponsor the school and he is Schools Minister, who can sack the governors in this case?

straggle Sun 20-Oct-13 00:17:30

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