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Murrayfield Primary School governors resign and attack Suffolk County Council after ‘inadequate’ rating

PUBLISHED: 11:10 30 November 2015 | UPDATED: 17:13 30 November 2015

Murrayfield Primary School.

Murrayfield Primary School.

Governors have criticised Suffolk County Council after they resigned from their school which was branded ‘inadequate’.

Murrayfield Community Primary School was given the lowest Ofsted rating in an inspection published today.

Three governors, including the chairman and deputy-chairman, have left the school because of a “growing difference of principle between ourselves and the local authority”.

In a statement released this morning, Reverend Paul Carter, former chairman of governors, Bill Knowles, former vice-chair and Claire Epsom, former governor, said a disagreement between the council and governors had “deepened” in the weeks after Ofsted inspectors visited in September.

The statement reads: “People will also know that several members of the governing body resigned last week and it would be natural to perceive a connection between this and the report. We do not speak for others, but our own resignations were made only because of a growing difference of principle between ourselves and the local authority.

“This disagreement deepened in the weeks following the inspection. It seemed to us that urgent and robust measures needed to be taken by the governors for which we sought backing from the local authority.

“It was with sadness that we came to see that the local authority was too weak and indecisive to provide the support and cooperation the school needed. Thus the only course of action left open to us was to resign.”

A statement from Suffolk County Council criticised the governors for resigning.

“Officers from the local authority have been in discussion with governors and the headteacher since the Ofsted inspection, trying to work with them to find the best and most effective way to improve the education pupils have been receiving.

“It is very disappointing when governors choose not to work with us to improve standards of education for the pupils, and we will be exploring ways in which we can ensure that governance at the school is stronger, more focused on the pupils’ needs and more effective in carrying out its key roles.

“It is important now for all involved with the school to look to the future and ensure the improvements are secured and sustained to give the pupils of Murrayfield the quality of education they deserve.”

The council said a number of actions had been taken to support the school, including providing a dedicated education officer, working with school leaders to monitor the rate of progress and improving assessment so that teaching addresses pupils’ next steps in learning.

Interim executive headteacher Andrew Livingstone, who took on the role in September, was not prepared to comment directly. He said the council’s statement would represent the school’s position.

The statement from governors also stated: “Everyone associated with Murrayfield school will share our bitter disappointment that the school has been judged inadequate by Ofsted. But most of us will recognise the truth of the judgement.

“There were positives, of course – the early years provision is stronger than other areas of the school and is improving. But we don’t take much comfort from the praise given to the governing body because, like the efforts of the local authority, these have not been successful in improving outcomes for children.”

The Ofsted rating, published here, follows a year in which former headteacher Jane Taylor resigned weeks after parents criticised a decision to axe after-school clubs and the end of term disco because children were too exhausted to properly learn and were disrupting lessons.

If you have an education story call Matt Hunter on 01473 324802 or send him an email at matt.hunter@archant.co.uk


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