Staff at troubled school in parents' firing line

Echo: Pupils and parents: Debbie McSweeney, Ellie Scott, Chloe and Amanda Gillingan, Jacqui Smith outside the school gate with a petition. Pupils and parents: Debbie McSweeney, Ellie Scott, Chloe and Amanda Gillingan, Jacqui Smith outside the school gate with a petition.

STAFF at a troubled school were criticised for going sick - and warned it would become a sponsored academy if things didn’t improve.


Tempers flared at a meeting between parents and governors at Holt Farm Junior School, Rochford.


It was called to update parents on the situation at the school, which was rocked last term when teachers went on strike in protest of how the school was being run.


Striking teachers weren’t happy with headteacher Hasan Chawdhry who they accused of having an “oppressive” style.


The meeting was chaired by Chris Kiernan, leader of a management team put in place by Essex County Council to work alongside the school’s board of governors.


In a lively meeting, Mr Kiernan revealed if standards did not improve the school was likely to become a sponsored academy - and warned there would be ramifications for staff ‘frivolously’ taking days off sick.


He commented after several parents raised the issue of high sickness levels among staff there.


He warned: “Going on the sick is not the answer long term.


“It is not true that we cannot dismiss someone because they are off sick.


“It is true the school has a higher than average sickness rate, but the local authority will not stand back and let it fester.”

Comments (6)

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11:52am Mon 11 Feb 13

maxell says...

this is the result of giving head techers more power, I know of three heads that are fanatical , when you have children under this type of regime, its little wonderthat staff would protest, but as the norm of toady address the situation through the correct channels and sweet F,a happens, leaving only direct action, if the school becomes and accadamy, at least the kids will have a chance of a less disruptive education, remove the obstical and move on, either way head , govnors, or teachers, if the govs and teachers go then we will need to see if history repeats. promote richards to head.
this is the result of giving head techers more power, I know of three heads that are fanatical , when you have children under this type of regime, its little wonderthat staff would protest, but as the norm of toady address the situation through the correct channels and sweet F,a happens, leaving only direct action, if the school becomes and accadamy, at least the kids will have a chance of a less disruptive education, remove the obstical and move on, either way head , govnors, or teachers, if the govs and teachers go then we will need to see if history repeats. promote richards to head. maxell
  • Score: 4

12:04pm Mon 11 Feb 13

jayman says...

The Tories are creating an environment of discontent amongst the public sector. This then makes it easy for them to move everything to the private sector. they now have the 'smoking gun' to do this.

my advice to anyone working in the public sector is not to react and not to 'bite' at attempts to de-stabilise the good and often underpaid work that you do.

Have faith that the public appreciate the work that you do and do not loose hope when the puppet managers and heads are brought in with the brief to 'run it to the ground'

public services are being artificially and politically 'de-bunked' by a Tory party that have an ulterior and self serving motive...
The Tories are creating an environment of discontent amongst the public sector. This then makes it easy for them to move everything to the private sector. they now have the 'smoking gun' to do this. my advice to anyone working in the public sector is not to react and not to 'bite' at attempts to de-stabilise the good and often underpaid work that you do. Have faith that the public appreciate the work that you do and do not loose hope when the puppet managers and heads are brought in with the brief to 'run it to the ground' public services are being artificially and politically 'de-bunked' by a Tory party that have an ulterior and self serving motive... jayman
  • Score: 2

12:31pm Mon 11 Feb 13

DogsMessInLeigh says...

So whats wrong with an Academy..? they are using that as a threat.
So whats wrong with an Academy..? they are using that as a threat. DogsMessInLeigh
  • Score: 1

3:36pm Mon 11 Feb 13

RobertFS says...

Teachers - get to work and do what you are paid very well for.
Teachers - get to work and do what you are paid very well for. RobertFS
  • Score: -4

4:04pm Mon 11 Feb 13

MilesBond says...

Rotten from the top down by the looks of it. Needs a scorched earth approach.
Rotten from the top down by the looks of it. Needs a scorched earth approach. MilesBond
  • Score: 0

4:46pm Wed 13 Feb 13

Logic-rules says...

I was at that meeting - no tempers flared, one or two people got a bit shrill - that is all. Chris Kiernan did not threaten the teachers at all, he was standing up for them! An Academy was one possible option. But of course this does not make a sensational story!
I was at that meeting - no tempers flared, one or two people got a bit shrill - that is all. Chris Kiernan did not threaten the teachers at all, he was standing up for them! An Academy was one possible option. But of course this does not make a sensational story! Logic-rules
  • Score: 1

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