I have talked with too many of the victims of a protocol to manage the problems of underperforming schools to believe that KCC really provides the pastoral support it owes these often long-serving, hardworking written-off headteachers.
How ironic if Mr Webb has himself been placed on gardening leave! Let us hope that recent events act as a warning to KCC to change its approach to achieving school improvement.
The problems at Kings Farm Primary School, Gravesend, deepened this week when it has emerged that the Executive Head of the school, Mrs Jane Porter, has reportedly been removed by KCC from the headship of Kings Farm. She remains Executive Head of Whitehill Primary School, which is part of the Gravesend Grammar School Academy Trust. This would not appear directly related to the issue of ‘disappearing heads’ I have written about recently, although the sudden departure of Mr Jackson, the previous head of Kings Farm, on the last day of the Christmas Term, appears to have precipitated issues reported widely in the national and local media.....
The appointment of Mrs Porter at Kings Farm has been controversial from the start, a flavour of her alleged leadership style being seen in comments below the article in the News Shopper newspaper from back in July.
I have already posted the background to this story in a previous article. An interim Headteacher, Catherine Taylor, has now been appointed to run King’s Farm Primary School. She is a very experienced head and is used to carrying out this role – I count five previous struggling schools where she has stepped in with considerable success. A parent has already told me what a positive impression she made last week on the first day at school, welcoming parents at the gate and introducing herself, a contrast to the approach of her predecessor.
Rumours about the reason for the reported removal are circulating, but it does not appear to be an issue of poor school performance at Kings Farm as the provisional SAT results were reported as being good. However, unusually, no Key Stage 2 outcomes of either school have appeared in internal KCC data results, a situation referred to in one of the News Shopper comments.
It has been suggested that the proposed date for Kings Farm to become an Academy sponsored by Gravesend Grammar school, has been put back until January 2015, indicating the scale of the current problems.