Two heads depart in new academy link-up

TWO Blackbird Leys headteachers have left their posts as one of Oxford’s top independent schools prepares to sponsor their primaries.

In October it was announced that the Dragon School in Bardwell Road would be the lead sponsor in a new multi-academy trust with three Blackbird Leys primaries – Orchard Meadow, Pegasus and Windale.

Headteachers at two of the schools – Orchard Meadow’s Chris Price and Windale’s Maureen Thompson – left their posts yesterday.

Oxfordshire County Council said they left “voluntarily”.

Jill Hudson, headteacher of Pegasus, has been appointed as executive headteacher of all three primaries.

Mrs Thompson said she could not comment on the circumstances surrounding her departure, but said she would be staying in education.

She said: “I have spent seven wonderful years at this school and will be very sorry to leave.

“I believe we, the staff and parents have helped the school move forward. The children have been wonderful and they deserve a great big thank you for everything they have done.”

Windale Community Primary School is rated by Ofsted as being “good”, and a recent inspection had praised Mrs Thompson’s “drive and determination” saying it showed the school’s commitment to improving.

Despite repeated requests, no-one from Orchard School, which is in special measures, provided comment.

Orchard Meadow and Windale were previously told to become academies after failing to meet Government standards at Key Stage 2.

Dragon spokesman Jenny Schneider said: “The sponsors of the new academy still await academy orders for Windale and Orchard Meadow. It is likely to be a minimum of four months from receipt of the academy or-ders before the academy opens.

“Until that point, the local authority retains full responsibility for the schools, including all human resources issues.

“The sponsors have played no part in the resignations of any member of staff.”

As part of the deal, there will be no financial investment, but use of the North Oxford school’s science, art, music and sporting facilities will be available and teachers at the Dragon will assist to develop initiatives.

County council spokesman Sam Henry said: “I can confirm the two headteachers left voluntarily. We would like to thank these members of staff for the work they have carried out in their respective schools.”

Oxford East MP Andrew Smith said: “It is always a difficult situation when you have three schools which have been autonomous being combined, because obviously there is going to be one headteacher, so it does put the other ones in a slightly difficult position.”

Comments (3)

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6:04pm Sat 22 Dec 12

Reynaldo Throckmorton, Duke of Botley says...

May we now put an end to the groundless rumours that Mr Price and Mrs Johnson are leaving because of a "sustained campaign of harassment" by myself? Specifically, I have NEVER flung sludge at their windows; replaced the steering columns of their cars with floppy rubber replicas; rung them up at 3am breathing heavily in the tones of Ms Janet Street-Porter; disrupted their birthday celebrations in the guise of a clinically obese strippagram; throttled their budgies; demolished their houses while they were on holiday and replaced them with 300ft effigies of the god Wu-Tung, complete with facilities for human sacrifice; or told Ofsted that they are unfit to be head teachers due to being homicidal lizard creatures from the planet Fnargg. All these allegations (and indeed any others, true or false) have been MADE UP by persons unknown for reasons unknown. I shall now maintain a dignified silence on this topic, broken only by the occasional belch.
May we now put an end to the groundless rumours that Mr Price and Mrs Johnson are leaving because of a "sustained campaign of harassment" by myself? Specifically, I have NEVER flung sludge at their windows; replaced the steering columns of their cars with floppy rubber replicas; rung them up at 3am breathing heavily in the tones of Ms Janet Street-Porter; disrupted their birthday celebrations in the guise of a clinically obese strippagram; throttled their budgies; demolished their houses while they were on holiday and replaced them with 300ft effigies of the god Wu-Tung, complete with facilities for human sacrifice; or told Ofsted that they are unfit to be head teachers due to being homicidal lizard creatures from the planet Fnargg. All these allegations (and indeed any others, true or false) have been MADE UP by persons unknown for reasons unknown. I shall now maintain a dignified silence on this topic, broken only by the occasional belch. Reynaldo Throckmorton, Duke of Botley

9:29pm Sat 22 Dec 12

Myron Blatz says...

Another case of 'we must move forward' and totally ignore the wishes of Parents, Teachers and democracy! Still, when Oxford's communist-led Labour Group take-over Oxfordshire (wasn't that supposed to have happened the same day the Mayan World ended?) everything will change, as they rout the Tory Cavaliers, and put back the County to the time when the Russian Revolution and Soviet Communism was trying to turn everyone into being comrades. Those were the days, Cllr Tanner!
Another case of 'we must move forward' and totally ignore the wishes of Parents, Teachers and democracy! Still, when Oxford's communist-led Labour Group take-over Oxfordshire (wasn't that supposed to have happened the same day the Mayan World ended?) everything will change, as they rout the Tory Cavaliers, and put back the County to the time when the Russian Revolution and Soviet Communism was trying to turn everyone into being comrades. Those were the days, Cllr Tanner! Myron Blatz

10:10pm Sat 22 Dec 12

DoctorBob says...

Myron Blatz wrote:
Another case of 'we must move forward' and totally ignore the wishes of Parents, Teachers and democracy! Still, when Oxford's communist-led Labour Group take-over Oxfordshire (wasn't that supposed to have happened the same day the Mayan World ended?) everything will change, as they rout the Tory Cavaliers, and put back the County to the time when the Russian Revolution and Soviet Communism was trying to turn everyone into being comrades. Those were the days, Cllr Tanner!
Can you translate that please?
[quote][p][bold]Myron Blatz[/bold] wrote: Another case of 'we must move forward' and totally ignore the wishes of Parents, Teachers and democracy! Still, when Oxford's communist-led Labour Group take-over Oxfordshire (wasn't that supposed to have happened the same day the Mayan World ended?) everything will change, as they rout the Tory Cavaliers, and put back the County to the time when the Russian Revolution and Soviet Communism was trying to turn everyone into being comrades. Those were the days, Cllr Tanner![/p][/quote]Can you translate that please? DoctorBob

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