Naturally any such financial deal is paid for out of Trust Funds which are supposed to be put towards the education of the children in Trust schools, a recent Kent settlement reported as being considerably greater than a half million pounds, for a headteacher on a far lower salary than Ms Shepherd’s £215,000 p.a.
The Rochester Grammar School website still contains a Principal’s welcome, main signatory the soon to depart Trust Chief Executive, the Principal himself coming after, confirming the main source of power in the school and the Trust, a fact that has contributed to considerable unhappiness amongst many staff, as encapsulated in The Times allegations. The ‘happy, caring’ ethos it describes is self-evidently historical, but may of course now be restored under the sound leadership of the new interim Trust leader. I have had more enquiries about bullying of girls relating to RGS, than any other school in Kent or Medway. This certainly appears a problem.
Stuart Gardiner, the Trust’s current Director of Secondary Education, has been appointed Interim Chief Executive Officer, the two page letter to parents going into considerable detail about the backgrounds of the new Trust leaders, actually of limited interest to most parents who would be more interested in the consequences for individual schools. Naturally, no mention of the troubles that preceded the decision of Ms Shepherd to ‘decide to leave’ which must have had a debilitating effect on staff morale.
However, no doubt with her extensive background in high education politics she will find an important new role, as do so many other displaced senior leaders, hopefully having learned that certain actions are unacceptable.
"“The Trust undertook a formal investigation, into allegations of misconduct made against Ms Shepherd. This has now concluded, with no further action required to be taken. It is extremely regrettable that these allegations were leaked to the press by an unknown source.Ms Shepherd acted in the best interests of the children within her care at all times, and we would not hesitate to endorse her for a future role within education.”
Of course once Ms Shepherd tendered her resignation, the investigation would automatically be concluded, and no further action could or could be required to be taken! I am sure the Trust regrets that allegations reporting extensive evidence were passed on to the press, but it is certainly not regrettable for everyone. The endorsement by the Chairman of the Trust may be related to the second paragraph in this article, although there is no doubt that whatever her methods, Ms Shepherd leaves behind a powerful and high performing organisation and, if lessons have been learned, under Stuart Gardner's leadership TSAT may prove even more successful and a happier place.