A SCHOOL has been left to foot the bill for two headteacehrs after its governing body allegedly forced an outgoing head to leave early on full pay.
Dr Rory Fox, who took over at the troubled Basildon Academies in September 2011, helped increase GCSE exam results in just one year from 33 per cent to 45 per cent and turned round behaviour of unruly pupils.
Last month Dr Fox shockingly handed in his resignation over a disagreement over teaching hours between the sponsor and chairman of governors Les Livermore- just after a glowing Ofsted report which praised the leadership techniques of Dr Fox.
He was due to stay until April but staff were told in an email last night that Dr Fox had left and a new interim principal would be taking over from November 26.
It is rumoured he was forced out by the governing body and is on "gardening leave", where he will receive full pay until April.
Stephen Metcalfe, MP for South Basildon, has called the situation “beyond belief” and warned the school cannot be put in this position again.
He said: “I was very disappointed to hear the news that Dr Fox had quit but to hear that he has left so swiftly is just awful. The whole situation is beyond belief to be frank.
"Dr Fox was such an inspirational headteacher leave when he was in the middle of doing such a good job is terrible.
“I don’t know what has gone on recently between the headteacher and the governors but it is not going to be good for the children to lose their headteacher like this.
“Just when we thought the school was on the up this just puts it back into a place of worry. It doesn’t look good for the governing body to lose a second headteacher in two years and this cannot be allowed to happen again.
“I think the governing body has got to look at itself and see what is going wrong. I am worried for the future of the school, it is in a fragile state now.
“It is also a great shame that so much money will be used to pay principals when it should have been used for schoolchildren.”
As of Tuesday Dr Fox’s mobile phone had been cut off and and he was not seen around school for most of this week- the Echo revealed on Tuesday how Dr Fox had been banned from speaking to the press.
Tony Ball, leader of Basildon Council, said: “This was a decision for the governors and it is their responsibility to honour Dr Fox’s contract. It is disappointing news.”
Stephen Castle, councillor with responsibility for education and lifelong learning added: “The internal organisation of an academy is a matter for the governors and sponsor.
“However Essex County Council is confident that the Basildon Academies will be successful in their search for a new headteacher and hope that this position is filled in the near future with minimum disruption to pupils and teaching staff."
Mr Livermore was not available for comment at the time of going to press.