‘School morale is on the brink’

THE chair of a Daventry school’s governing body has been forced to step down as the school continues its moves towards academy status.

The news is the latest in a series of setbacks at the troubled William Parker School leading to unrest among teaching staff, some of whom are now considering industrial action.

John Tippett, chairman of William Parker School’s governing body, initially believed he and another governor would remain once the school switches to an ‘executive board’, but was told by Northamptonshire County Council a condition of the change was that he would not be allowed to continue.

The move from a governing body of mostly parents and staff to an executive body of largely appointed experts was announced earlier this month as part of the school’s drive towards academy status.

A partner of a teacher at the school told the Daventry Express: “It seems Mr Tippett as a governor has got the trust and respect of the majority of staff within the school, he has done a lot to make some very quick and dramatic changes in the life of the school, changes that have been badly needed for the three years my partner has been teaching there.

“He seems to be a very strong manager and ever present at the school.”

Adding: “Union members are already on ‘restricted working’ but some teachers are so incensed by this latest sham that they are considering asking the union to take more action.

“This is a school on the brink of collapse of morale and team spirit.

“He and colleagues believed there was a strong plan to turn the school about but now the fear is redundancies and merging the school with Danetre.

“At a meeting on Saturday morning teachers said without Mr Tippett being involved they felt unsafe and insecure in their roles.”

Headteacher Jason Brook stepped aside in September following poor exam results.

Progress made by the interim head – Krysia Butwilowska – and senior management helped avoid being placed in special measures following an Ofsted inspection last term.

A spokesman for the county council said: “The Government has authorised proposals to disband the governing body and establish an interim executive board in preparation for the school becoming an academy.

“We can confirm that the outgoing chair of governors will not be invited to sit on the interim executive board.”

“This decision is not a reflection on the dedicated and committed service that the chairman has given to the school.”