Parents back governors in headteacher dispute

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OVER 100 parents packed into a meeting at a Sheffield infant school to have their say on a row surrounding the appointment of its new headteacher.

Halfway Infants has been without a head since last summer, when the previous principal retired after more than 20 years in the post.

Governors advertised the post but only two candidates came forward – which led to an intervention by city education chiefs.

They have told the governing body to look at other options – including sharing a head with nearby Halfway Juniors, a solution the governors are resisting.

Parents backed that stance at the meeting which was attended by council officer Andrew Jones.

Emily Rogers, who has a four-year-old daughter at the school, said most parents were very concerned by the continuing stand-off.

“Feelings are running very high. An e-petition has been set up which has nearly 100 names on it. We asked Mr Jones many questions and he avoided most of them,” she said.

“We understand the school is being threatened with a formal warning and could be given the label ‘cause for concern’ – and if so a headteacher could be imposed upon us,” she said.

“If the school is given that label it will have 15 days to appeal to Ofsted. The governors are to reconsider the position but we are more than happy with the stance they are taking.

“Parents feel the school is being bullied by the authority and it isn’t acceptable.”

Helen Dyson, who has a daughter in reception, added: “There is huge concern. This is a well established, well run school with first class results.

“Now this decision is being taken out of the school’s control and parents have very strong feelings about that.

“The school is like a village school, it is a vital part of the community and people want to have their say.”

Mr Jones, assistant director in the services to schools department, said: “We fully acknowledge the strength of feeling that has been expressed by parents and members of the school community.

“We have already arranged to meet with governors this week. We will be providing practical support to the school to explore the best solution. We will make sure that the school is provided with this support as soon as possible.”