“Betrayal” at Cauldwell, Shackleton, and Shortstown primary schools

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Three headteachers are set to lose their jobs at schools across Bedford, as part of a shake-up which parents have described as a “betrayal”.

The move, by the HEART 
Academies Trust, will also see three deputy heads and seven assistant heads made 
redundant.

And it has lead to governors at two of the schools threatening to leave the Heart Academies Trust.

In a letter to the HEART trustees, the governors of Cauldwell Primary School said: “There has been a complete lack of consultation concerning the new structure; it seems to have been imposed as a fait 
accompli.”

The letter states: “We also find it hard to reconcile the need for the proposed changes to a school which the trustees, in its reports and audited accounts just over a year ago, judge to be in good financial standing and having a budget surplus of £28,000.”

The HEART Academies Trust is made up of three primary schools – Cauldwell, Shackleton, and Shortstown – plus the Bedford Academy. It was set up 14 months ago and is sponsored by the Harpur Trust.

The trustees at both Shortstown and Cauldwell School are understood to now want to leave the trust, with Shortstown’s chair of governors ,Corinne Royden, branding the proposed redundancies a “betrayal”.

This letter also proposes a motion of no confidence in the trust’s chief executive and trustees.

The letter adds: “The reputation of the trust is being placed at great risk by this decision to consult and implement these proposed changes.

“The proposed changes to the leadership of the schools do not take into consideration the position and roles of the current headteachers who have worked hard over many years for their schools and, as such, are recognised as well-respected and indispensable members of their respective school communities.”

Chair of trustees, Hanif Patel, said: “We appreciate that this is an uncertain time for staff and parents. We will continue to work with staff and parents over the coming weeks to alleviate any concerns they may have.”

Read more:

The full story

What is being proposed?

What are the reasons for the proposals?

Details of the changes

What comes next?

Is money behind the proposals?