In the run up to the governors’ vote about becoming a sponsored academy with TSAT there have been two meetings of parents with members of the Trust. The first was not easy, the second one reported to be almost confrontational between the Trust and the 70 or so parents that attended. Governors will now consider the results of the Consultation to inform them before their vote
However, the most recent development is almost bizarre. Mr Chris Jackson, Executive Headteacher of the Gordon Schools Federation in Chatham since March 2014, has been appointed as a class teacher to Twydall Primary from the start of this term. He was previously Assistant Headteacher at the small one form entry All Faiths' and was certainly handed a challenge, being required to run the Federation of two separate schools, each with two classes per year, as it joined TSAT, including reversing the Junior School’s ‘Serious Weaknesses’ inadequate assessment by OFSTED the previous year. The Gordon Schools Federation website makes clear that TSAT has now removed him, just nine months later (together with sacking the Governing Body), from the school because the pace of improvement needs to accelerate. The departing Chair of Governors had also been appointed a governor of Twydall and was one of the two who resigned over the conflict of interest issue. TSAT must be seriously worried about current standards at the Federation to take this drastic double action, although the appointment of the inexperienced Mr Jackson as Executive Head undoubtedly contributed to the problem.
Interestingly, the Gordon website states in different places about Mr Jackson at Twydall that he “is working in another school in the Trust” and that “He will be moving to another school that the Trust is working with to support their own improvement journey”. Of course, Twydall Primary is NOT a member of the Trust as claimed, and currently has no current role in working with Twydall to support their improvement journey, as the Trust representative confirmed at the second Consultation meeting.
As far as the Gordon Federation is concerned, their new Executive Headteacher is Mrs Lesley Ann Jones, who has excellent experience in running of schools, with a senior OFSTED background, so it looks as if they have made a very strong appointment this time round.