The headteacher has been strongly supported by Medway Council throughout the period up until the suspension by governors, even after a cry for help for the school from a group of senior governors to the Council: "Despite our considerable efforts over the course of many months, we no longer believe we can work with the current head teacher to deliver sustainable progress for the school in general and, most importantly, for the children”. However, this was dismissed out of hand by the Cabinet Member, Mr O'Brien, who considered after their subsequent resignation: "The decision by some of the governors is entirely a matter for them”. This was a direct slap in the face for all responsible Medway governors which must have caused many to wonder why they were offering their services - answer, to the children certainly, but not to the unsupportive Medway Council which to date has not uttered a word of concern about events in the school, even at one stage trying to suggest the resignation was in fact just a matter of short term illness.
The wording of the letter announcing the "retirement from headship" suggests that the headteacher's departure was agreed,so that no disciplinary action would have followed the suspension. It is usual in such cases, that a settlement will have been agreed, fortunately to fall on Medway Council after its inept handling of the case but then to be shared across all remaining Medway council run schools, so not another burden on the long-suffering Hempstead Junior School. The large number of copies of the retirement letter sent to me pay tribute to the relief felt by so many people concerned.
This is possibly the last word to be said on the subject, except all that remains is for Mr O'Brien to apologise to the good governors he happily saw the back of as they threatened to rock the boat, and to the school for his failure to look out for its best interests.
Meanwhile, in Kent, the headteacher of Community College Whitstable is suing KCC in the High Court following claims that the Authority breached her terms of employment after it suspended her! The problem is in such cases is that from the outside it is not always easy to see where the fault lies when relationships break down irretrievably between some of the various parties responsible for running a school, be it: headteacher, governors, teachers, parents, Local Authority, or Academy Trust. In different cases I have been asked my advice by members of each of the first four groups, happy to provide it if I am able, but learning afresh the complexities of school operation with its multiplicity of stake-holders many with their own agendas.