HEART chief executive resigns: What happens next?

Claire Smith has resigned as chief executive of HEART Academies Trust, but the controversial shake-up has not been shelved.

Wednesday, 21st November 2018, 5:55 pm
Updated Wednesday, 21st November 2018, 6:07 pm
MBTC-18-10-13- Bedford Academy. b13-922 Head teacher Claire Smith. ENGPNL00120131018134455

Here we look at what happenes next.

>What does Claire Smith’s resignation mean in practical terms?

As chief executive Claire Smith was generally seen as being behind the controversial changes.

She earned £122,000-a-year and is believed to have received a substantial severance deal as part of her resignation.

Her departure will not necessarily mean the changes are immediately scrapped, but she may have been seen by some as a block to progress.

>How have school staff reacted to this week’s developments?

Staff did not wish to speak on the record but those who did speak to the Times & Citizen were positive.

>What other concerns have there been and have they been allayed?

One criticism has been the trust’s lack of openness and preference for spending money on consultants rather than teachers.

This week they declined to say how much they have spent on an external PR firm or what will be spent on the “additional interim support staff” being brought in while the trust looks for a new chief executive.

>What is happening with the governance review?

The governance review has now been completed and submitted to the trustees who say they “have listened carefully to the review, and as a result will be making changes to the way the trust board operates.”

This will include immediately recruiting a number of new independent trustees “with the right skills to strengthen and balance the board”. These new trustees should be in place by March 2019.