Primary school headteacher at Brierfield quits in academy backlash (From Burnley and Pendle Citizen)
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Primary school headteacher at Brierfield quits in academy backlash
THE headteacher of a primary school has left her post the day before her school officially became an academy.
Walter Street Primary School, Brierfield, will now be known as Walter Street Primary Academy after the move was rubber-stamped by Education Secretary Michael Gove.
In a letter to parents, headteacher Sarah Watson said she was leaving to ‘take a sabbatical’.
Councillors and parents had campaigned against the school being turned into an academy, and councillors branded the decision to press ahead as ‘appalling’.
Coun Naeem Ashraf said: “This is an absolutely outrageous decision. We were told that local people would be listened to but that has not happened. Staff at the school and parents did not want this to happen but they have been ignored. They have not listened to anybody.
“The school was put in special measures after an Ofsted inspection and they were given areas to improve, which they have done. But still they are being told they have to become an academy.”
In her letter to parents, Miss Watson said: “I have decided that I will not be transferring to the new academy. This is a decision I have given much thought to. Following my recent family bereavement I intend to take a sabbatical in order to re-evaluate my personal priorities and identify my next steps in life.”
Coun Mohammed Iqbal said: “This is a terrible decision. Over 90 per cent of parents were against the school being turned in to an academy.
“The school has been steam-rollered in to this decision against everybody’s wishes.
“We held a public meeting attended by 70 or 80 people and not one person spoke in favour of the school becoming an academy.”