ANGRY parents have written an open letter to an under-fire academy trust demanding to know when they will get a headteacher.

Parents of pupils at Richmond Avenue Primary School in Shoebury claim their children have been been without a headteacher since October last year.

The 45-strong group has written to the Southend East Community Academy Trust, saying the staff and pupils of the school have been let down by the trust.

The group said: “There has been nothing to address our concerns around this - staff morale is low, we are losing experienced and valued members of staff, they are being taken from our school and sent to other’s across the trust with no notice.”

The Echo revealed a report earlier this year which criticised management of the trust, which runs six schools across Southend, stating there is a “culture of fear” in the workplace.

The chairman and vice-chairman of the trustee board resigned in the past two weeks.

The report by the East of England Local Government Association said the level of fear held by staff was “palpable”.

The Richmond Avenue parents’ group added: “The ethos, the underhanded nature with which decisions are made - there is certainly no transparency, no real clarity of ‘why’ or ‘how’ - decisions are made, letters are sent out, no meeting or consultation ever takes place, and there seems to be no ability for parents or staff to question or to get answers.

“Ultimately our small, community school, has become worse for being part of the trust and not better in any way - we have certainly seen no actions taken that are in the best interests of our children, who will suffer because of what is going on.

“We have a right to know when we can either expect our headteacher to return to post, or when a suitable replacement will be found.”

Parents also suggested they had not been supported during the coronavirus lockdown, but this was refuted by the trust.

A spokesman for the trust, based in Shoebury, added: “We cannot comment on staff or any personnel matters but as parents will know, the excellent colleagues from other successful schools within the trust, continue to lead the staff and provide for the pupils at Richmond Avenue Primary School.

“This will not change for the autumn term to ensure that there is calm and confidence in the leadership and management of the school.

“All of this has been communicated to the 450+ parents of children at Richmond Avenue.”