MORE than half the staff at a troubled school will have left by the summer as a new executive board makes major changes, the Echo can reveal.
Fifteen teachers left Futures Community College in Southchurch Boulevard, Southend, as the school broke up for Easter, and another seven are to leave by the summer.
Teachers are leaving as a group of education supremos try to turn around its fortunes after it was put in special measures by Ofsted at the end of last year.
Some are leaving for new jobs elsewhere, but the Echo understands others are angry at the pace of change.
Jane Theadom, Southend Council’s head of learning and a member of the interim executive board, which was appointed in February, said: “The new board includes experienced headteachers and business leaders.
A permanent headteacher has now been appointed, following a national recruitment campaign.
“Subsequent efforts have been heavily focused on addressing the key issues. This has necessitated some rapid changes.
“Early indications are these changes are already having a positive impact on the school’s performance.
“There are a number of reasons for the changes to staff.
“Some were on short-term temporary contracts that have not been renewed. Others are leaving for new jobs, promotions and other career opportunities and some in response to the increased expectations to improve the quality of learning at a faster pace.”
The council denies the exodus is unusual, but the departures mean 22 of its 43 teachers will have left by July.
It is understood the new regime at the school, led by headteacher Stuart Reynolds, are cutting back staffing that ballooned under previous headteacher Stephen Capper.
One of Mr Reynold’s first jobs was dealing with overpopulated staff room that included several PE teachers, but too few specialist maths teachers. but a lot of teachers leaving appear not to be up for the challenge.
The council, which set itself a target of all schools in Southend being “good” or “outstanding”
by September insists the changes are necessary to turn around the school, which inspectors have branded “inadequate and not improving”.
Parents have complained about the number of supply teachers taking lessons, but Mrs Theadom has assured them high-quality staff are coming.
She said: “While it is not an ideal situation to have cover teachers in place, this is unavoidable in the short-term and we are working with the school to ensure disruption is kept to a minimum and to recruit high-quality permanent staff who will join the team to continue the good work that has already begun.
“The council has the stated objective of helping all of the schools in the borough to become good or outstanding and we are confident that Futures can make that step-change with the support of the parents, pupils and teaching staff.”
Inspectors are yet to publish a report on the school’s progress after visiting last month.