The way things are being handled at Gloucester Academy should be raising many questions about accountability in the Coalition academy programme and in particular the way that they can be influenced without public scrutiny. The fact the head, John Reilly, has left with little or no proper explanation, days before a Government Minister visits quite simply stinks. Because of the way the Academy is now out of the LA system, there is no public scrutiny of the decision and at the end of the day, it is the children who are the real victims. Questions need to be asked, loudly, and now!
The Head has had a difficult job, and now the local Conservative machine is vilifying him at any given opportunity, reading Richard Graham’s comments in his news letter and Mr Gove’s comments today were shameful, never has a scapegoat been more heavily inferred and painted. From what I have heard, the staff are distraught, the parents bewildered and children very unhappy with the removal of a much liked leader. It was only a month ago that John was in the Citizen enthusiastically describing the new academy. In May, OFSTED had highlighted that the school standards were improving, student progress was accelerating and in general, he was being applauded for the hard work and dedication he has put in to get the Academy going in the right direction. Yet now he has been hung out to dry!
The questions one has to ask include:
- Why was this such short notice?
- Why were parents not informed?
- What targets were not being met?
- What targets were set, in what time-frame? GCSE grades can not simply be it.
- Where is the scrutiny and accountability in this decision?
- Did John have to jump before he was pushed?
To me, this has the nasty whiff of “something not right” and it needs to be got to the bottom of!