The headteacher at the beleaguered Sir John Gleed School has “left” just days before the release of what is expected to be a damning Ofsted report.
It is not clear whether Janet Daniels resigned or was sacked but pupils and parents were told on Tuesday that deputy headteacher William Scott will be acting headteacher until a permanent appointment is made.
A new chairman of governors has also been appointed.
David Rich, who describes himself on business networking website LinkedIn as an education consultant, has recently acted as interim head at Kirton Middlecott School and has more than 20 years’ experience as a headteacher and governor.
News of Mrs Daniels’ departure has been welcomed by some parents, with one writing on a Parents of the Gleed Facebook page: “Let’s hope this is the end of a very dark era and the beginning of great things”.
Mrs Daniels became headteacher of Gleed Girls’ Technology College in January 2011, taking the helm of the newly-formed Sir John Gleed School when the girls’ and boys’ schools merged in November of that year. The school then became an academy in January, but has since been plagued with problems.
Ofsted carried out an unplanned inspection last month after parent Rebecca Thirkell raised fears about discipline at the school.
Rumours the school had been placed in special measures quickly followed.
The watchdog’s official report is expected to be released within a couple of weeks.
But on Tuesday, pupils were told at morning assembly that Mrs Daniels had left, with a letter going out to parents from the academy’s sponsor CfBT later that day.
Signed by Anna Crispin, schools director, the letter said: “Once the report is published Mr Scott will rearrange the posponed parents’ meetings to discuss the outcome of the report, it’s implications and the measures being put in place.
“I know that the last few weeks have been particularly difficult for the whole school community and I would like to reassure you that we are working closely with the school’s leadership team and governors to ensure a positive future for the school.”
Miss Thirkell, who started the ball rolling, said: “This is the initial outcome I was hoping for and now it has been achieved there is nothing stopping the school from making big changes and improvements.
“Reaction so far is that this is great news. Mr Scott is a great teacher and widely respected by parents and pupils.”
Her view was echoed on Facebook, where another parent said: “Mr Scott is a brilliant teacher who has respect for the kids as well as getting respect back from them, it should work well!”
Another mum Lesa Jeffery, who had previously called for parents to getbehind the school and had been working with Mrs Daniels to set up a parent and teacher association, said: “I am disappointed because now we have to start all over again, but maybe it is for the best and something good will come of it.”
A spokesman for Lincolnshire County Council, the local education authority, said it had been in contact with CfBT and looked forward to working with the acting head.
Debbie Barnes, director of children’s services, said: “The council will help in any way it can to assist the trust to drive through improvements in teaching, learning and behaviour for the benefit of the whole school community.”