Horsham academy head resigns

Greenway Academy school sign with Acting Headteacher's name Mr S Cannon displayed on it, Greenway, Horsham. Pic Steve Robards SUS-150316-121606001
Greenway Academy school sign with Acting Headteacher's name Mr S Cannon displayed on it, Greenway, Horsham. Pic Steve Robards SUS-150316-121606001

The chair of governors at a Horsham school is reassuring parents the academy is in ‘good hands’ after its long-standing headteacher resigned.

Keith Todd, who has been a teacher at Greenway Academy for decades, left his post suddenly last month after a dispute with the governing body.

In a statement to parents and staff, the governors said: “Following a decision by the headteacher that the relationship of trust and confidence he had with the governing body broke down irretrievably during the autumn term, he has tendered his resignation.

“The resignation has been accepted by the governing body.

“Both parties, the academy and the headteacher, are now bound by a confidentiality clause whereby neither the governing body, any member of staff, nor the head teacher, can enter into any further communication on this matter.”

Chair of governors, the Rev Brian White, who is also a minister at Trafalgar Road Baptist Church, added: “The school is in very good hands at the moment.

“Things are still being coped with, but the school is making significant progress.

“Despite the difficulties of this last term, the governing body has not been distracted from the main things of improving the school and the education of its pupils.”

Before Christmas Mr Todd went ‘on leave until further notice’ and assistant head Simon Cannon took over the headship.

Mr Todd returned for just a few weeks this year before leaving for good. Mr Cannon has again been appointed acting headteacher until the autumn when a permanent successor will be installed.

The County Times has received a number of approaches from parents worried about the circumstances which led to Mr Todd’s departure.

Last week the school held two open parent governor meetings at which 150 parents heard the school’s progress in appointing a head teacher and plans for a parent teacher association.

Mr White said the academy had assured parents they could raise concerns with the acting head teacher, but ‘only a handful have done so’.

On the subject of the management of the academy’s finances, Mr White said: “We have to make monthly reports to the Education Funding Agency and we have to be thoroughly audited.

“Our accountants are a local firm and they would not have signed off our accounts if there was anything wrong.”

The school has struggled in the past decade to keep standards set by Ofsted high. In the last inspection in 2013 Ofsted rated it as requiring improvement.

Through working with consultancy firm Edison Learning, and in the school improvement programme Aspire, the school is on track to score higher in the next inspection expected this year.

Mr White said: “It’s made a huge impact on the school and in the areas that Ofsted measured - leadership and management, learning and curriculum.

“It’s impacted right across the board and made a big impact on the quality of teaching.”

The school is currently advertising for a new head. The deadline for applications is 12noon on March 26.