Murrayfield Primary School’s head resigns weeks after dispute over after-school clubs and end-of-term disco

Murrayfield Primary School.

Murrayfield Primary School. - Credit: Gregg Brown

The headteacher of an Ipswich primary school has resigned just weeks after parents criticised a decision to axe after-school clubs and the end of term disco.

Murrayfield Primary School.

Murrayfield Primary School. - Credit: Gregg Brown

Jane Taylor has left Murrayfield Primary School with immediate effect, three weeks before schools break up for the summer holidays.

A letter by chair of governors Father Paul Carter, posted on the school’s website, broke the news to parents. He called for a meeting to air concerns and offer reassurances their children’s education would not suffer.

Suffolk County Council said Mrs Taylor left because of personal reasons.

The letter says: “We will now inevitably face some time without a permanent headteacher. Every day counts in our children’s education and I would like to reassure you that the governors are now working very hard to see that robust interim arrangements are out in place to lead the school from September.”

Murrayfield Primary School.

Murrayfield Primary School. - Credit: Gregg Brown

Last month Mrs Taylor, who started the job in April last year, wrote to parents to tell them she had cancelled all after-school clubs and the end of term disco because children were too exhausted to properly learn and were disrupting lessons.

The clubs were cancelled for two weeks in an attempt to boost the amount of sleep children get.

But the decision was controversial, with some parents questioning why their children were punished for what they claimed were other’s actions.

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One parent, who wished to remain anonymous, is concerned the school now lacks direction without a headteacher or permanent deputy head.

“What was done originally – cancelling the after-school clubs - was wrong in my view. It seemed to punish everyone for a few children not behaving,” she said.

“They need someone who will be strict with parents as well as the children – children turn up to school in flip-flops and sandals which aren’t really school uniform.”

Graham White, secretary of Suffolk’s National Union of Teachers, said it was not unusual for a teacher to leave at short notice.

According to official NUT guidance, headteachers planning on leaving at the end of a school year should try to give notice during April.

Mr White said headteachers faced mounting pressure to perform from the county council and Ofsted – meaning total hours could be up to 60 a week.

A statement released by the county council, also on behalf of governors, said: “In partnership with the governors at the school appropriate actions have been taken to provide immediate leadership cover. We will continue with our support for the school and ensure that the children’s education is not affected by this change in leadership.”

The school, off Nacton Road, was given a ‘requires improvement’ Ofsted rating in 2013.

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