IT IS the saddest of stories to read of the problems being experienced by and at St Gregory the Great (School Loses Its heads, January 9), not least because Dr McCarthy and Dr Caseby are both inspiring teachers, in Dr McCarthy’s case with long and distinguished service at The Cherwell School (as three of my children can testify) which certainly contributed to Cherwell’s Ofsted ‘outstanding’.

Above all, though, it is the pupils who are being cast into the educational wilderness by the ineptitude of the Dominic Barbieri Academy Company (DBAC), yet another example of ever-widening flaws in multi-academy trusts (MATS) and, in this case, a company, the name itself an indicator of why so many schools in Oxfordshire are now adrift, tied as they are to an ersatz business model which is largely paper and paste and, as such, wretchedly fragile.

Of course Cllr Professor John Howson is right to say that “the school has got to come clean if these people (McCarthy and Caseby) are not coming back”.

Cllr Howson knows better than anybody how MATS, including free schools, tend not to be publicly accountable, certainly not at local level, with licence from the Department for Education to be secretive, which helps no-one, especially not the pupils. Paul Concannon, a director of DBAC, is quoted that the “reasons behind the principal and vice principal’s leave were confidential.” This is neither fair to Drs McCarthy and Caseby, nor to the staff left behind, and certainly not to parents and pupils. It can’t be the case that DBAC wishes to destroy St Greg’s. For now rumours rule and from such rule no good can come. As St Greg’s new (temporary?) principal director, Mr Fraser Long needs to speak up and out, sooner rather than later!

Bowness Avenue