Headteacher redundancy plans: Pause extended by HEART Academies Trust

MBTC-18-10-13- Bedford Academy.'b13-922''Head teacher Claire Smith. ENGPNL00120131018134455
MBTC-18-10-13- Bedford Academy.'b13-922''Head teacher Claire Smith. ENGPNL00120131018134455

Plans to make headteachers and other senior staff at three Bedford primary schools have been paused for an event longer period, the HEART Academies Trust have announced.

Earlier this month the trust revealed it planned to make the headteachers at Cauldwell, Shackleton and Shortstown primary schools redundant, along with three deputy heads and seven assistant heads.

There was a public outcry at the plans, especially among parents who had received no notification and had not been consulted.

The trust, which also included Bedford Academy and is sponsored by the Harpur Trust, planned to install an ‘executive headteacher’ to oversee all three primary schools, as well as three ‘heads of school’ at each of them.

HEART have not said how long the pause will be extended for but it is expected to conclude in the new year.

However they have employed an outside agency to handle PR. It is not clear how this is being funded.

Hanif Patel, chair of HEART Academies Trust’s board of trustees, said: “We recognise that we communicated badly with all our stakeholders around the proposed re-structure. We apologise unreservedly for this. We are absolutely committed to doing better going forward.

“Extending the period for review will allow us to work with staff and parents, understand fully their concerns and, as part of this, we want to invite the parent action group to join us in looking at future plans.

“The review period needs to be long enough to allow us to engage fully with staff, parents and other stakeholders, as well as complete a governance review. We are not putting a limit on the time that it will take to do this.”

Mr Patel added: “Our overriding priority has been, and still is, to deliver the best possible education of all the children in our schools. This means improving standards of attainment as well as ensuring the schools are happy and welcoming places where children enjoy learning.

“Key Stage 2 results in our schools have improved significantly in the last year under the trust. While this is good news, our results are still well below the national average. We want to ensure there are no limits on the achievements of any of our pupils for any reason. If our children are to have the best possible life opportunities, we need to need to do better and the speed of improvement must accelerate.”

Read more:

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Plans to make headteachers redundant put on hold

School bosses accused of “betrayal”

Parents’ response

Reasons for the proposed changes

Details of the proposed changes

What comes next?